Taking Your Pet With You to Assisted Living (and What You Need to Make It Work)

Pet ownership is a lifetime commitment.

by James Hall Senior Care Fitness “Helping seniors live their best lives… because age is nothing but a number.”

Sadly, you may find that such a commitment can be a challenge as you enter your senior years. As your own needs grow, you will invariably find that caring for a pet will be a tad more difficult. Not only that, while a change in living arrangements may be exactly what the doctor ordered for you, in many cases, it may not be appropriate for your pet at all.

However, this is not to say that you and your pet will have to part ways. In fact, there are solid measures you can take to ensure that you and your pet can enjoy each other’s company for a long while yet.

Choose the right facility.

As you enter your golden years, you will find that you’re not as spry as you used to be physically and may need more medical care and living assistance on a daily basis. With this in mind, you will inevitably need to start considering senior housing options that are appropriate to your specific needs and preferences. This, then, raises the question of whether you can take your pet with you.

Thankfully, more and more assisted living facilities these days recognize the importance of pets to the lives of their residents and, in turn, allow these cherished companions to move in, too. But of course, this usually is not without caveats. More often than not, pet-friendly facilities have criteria on the type, size, and breed of pets that you can take. Temperament is also important, in consideration of other residents in the facility. It’s important, therefore, to take the time to explore various facilities in your preferred area and really take to heart their rules on pet ownership.

Stock up on the right supplies.

Now, even when you find the right living facility for you and your pet, know that, in general, the bulk of your pet’s care and upkeep still needs to be done by you. Constantly bending down to feed a pet and pick up after them may be quite troublesome for a senior and may even pose a fall risk. For this reason, it becomes absolutely crucial to stock up on pet supplies that can actually benefit both seniors and pets alike.

Case in point, if you have a cat, you will undoubtedly need to have a number of products on hand that are designed for the cat’s comfort and amusement. There are the ubiquitous food and water bowls, of course, but your cat will likely also need scratching posts, self-cleaning litter boxes, and the like. Investing in smart pet devices will definitely ensure that your pet’s needs are met and make caring for them easier. Cat water fountains, for instance, guarantee that your feline gets plenty of water, which, in turn, will contribute to keeping them well-hydrated and healthy.

Leverage the right help.

Again, even if you can take your pet with you in an assisted living facility, you will still be in charge of their welfare. But of course, your needs as a senior must still come first. It’s more than wise, therefore, to have a solid support group behind you who can take care of your pet in a pinch when you travel or if you fall sick, etc.

Family and friends are, no doubt, the obvious choices, but it’s also a good idea to consider a professional pet sitter who may be better suited for the job. Furthermore, a vet who does house calls or a dog walker (if you have a dog) may also be able to help.

You and your pet can continue to have a fun and fruitful life together even as your own life changes in your golden years. It all hinges on finding the perfect place for both of you to call home and the right supplies to keep you both comfortable, as well as finding help when you need it. Home sweet home, indeed!

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