Having a pet benefits seniors in various ways. It helps them keep stress in check, increase happiness levels, experience a sense of security, and provide some much-needed companionship. Hence it comes as no surprise that according to research, more than 50% of seniors aged between 50-80 years own a pet. While having a pet in your home is manageable, it can prove to be challenging if you need to move into assisted living. But don’t fret, this article willl explore the steps seniors can follow to find a pet-friendly assisted living community and the best ways to ensure your companion’s needs are catered to.
Find the Right Assisted Living Community
The best place to search for pet-friendly assisted living options is the internet. A quick search will provide you with an array of options to explore. Your main focus will be to go through the provided websites and understand their pet policies as they can vary greatly between communities. For example, here are a few key things to look out for:
- The type of pets allowed on the premises. Some facilities may only allow cats and dogs but not other pets such as birds, turtles, reptiles, etc.
- The size and weight of permissible pets. It’s more likely that assisted living facilities allow cats and small-sized dogs. But if you have a large size dog, search for specific facilities which allow them.
- Vaccination requirements for pets.
Additionally, the community will need to have necessary amenities to catering to your pet’s needs, such as:
- Outdoor areas such as gardens, and parks
- Walking trails
- Designated pet play areas
A key point to remember is that if you require specialized care for any ongoing conditions, moving into a nursing home will be the better choice. Compared to assisted living, a nursing home will provide round-the-clock specialized medical care along with services such as medication management, physical therapy, and more.
Managing Your Pet’s Needs
While having the above-mentioned amenities will help your pet make a smooth transition, here are a few additional ways you can make caring for them easier:
- Be Close to Vets: Finding assisted living located close to a vet clinic will make life simpler much simpler. But, if that’s not possible, you can always hire mobile veterinarians for vaccinations and check-ups.
- Hire a Walker: Daily walks play an integral role in keeping dogs healthy. But, with age, you may find it difficult to provide them with the required exercise. If your community does not provide dog walking services, hire an experienced dog walker who can take your dog on walks at scheduled times.
- Purchase Pet Products: Self-cleaning litter boxes, automated feeders, chew ropes and dog beds, and a few of the many pet products you can buy to be on top of your pet’s eating, rest and play needs without putting in much effort.
Affording (Pet Friendly) Assisted Living
Research shows that the average monthly cost of assisted living is $4,500, which adds up to more than $50,000 a year. Moreover, you’ll need to factor in the cost of pet care which can be close to $1,000-$1,500 a year.
Given that you plan to live in a pet friendly assisted living community for the foreseeable future, the best way to fund its expenses is to sell your home. While this can be a tough emotional decision, in the long term it is the right one. At an assisted living community you’ll enjoy a higher standard of living and care, in addition to providing your pet a great living environment as well.
To get the best price for your home consider working with a real estate agent who can do the legwork of finding buyers and managing showings. Additionally, consider making small but effective upgrades such as landscaping your lawn, and repainting the home which can lead to an increase in property value.
Moving into a pet-friendly assisted living community can be a welcoming change for you and your companion. While you will benefit from having professional staff catering to your housing and healthcare needs, your pet will have a better standard of living through the on-site amenities such as parks, play areas, and other pet-friendly services.