Tips for Senior Pet Owners to Find the Perfect Assisted Living Community
Updated: Jun 19
Guest article by James Hall of Senior Care Fitness: Tips for Senior Pet Owners to Find the Perfect Assisted Living Community
Animals give us just as much — if not more — than we give them, which is why having pets is especially beneficial for seniors. The companionship they provide helps ward off loneliness, and having a dog that requires daily walks is an excellent way to stay physically active. As an added bonus, Psychology Today explains how the routine of caring for a pet is just as beneficial for senior pet owners as it is for the animal.
How to Find Pet-Friendly Senior Living
If you’re a senior pet parent, it probably isn’t news to hear just how much pet ownership can enrich your life. With all the benefits seniors get from having pets, it’s also no surprise that more assisted living communities are now welcoming pets with open arms. In fact, it’s now more common to find a senior community that is pet-friendly than it isn’t.
This is great news for seniors who want to keep their pets in assisted living because it means you have more options for finding the perfect community to call home. When you’re searching for an assisted living center, make sure to ask if they have amenities and services for pet owners in addition to the general features you want. For example, besides allowing pets in your own apartment, are there shared spaces that are also pet-friendly, including outdoor spaces? These features can be extremely helpful because they give you opportunities to meet other pet owners in your community while also giving your pup some exercise.
Tips to Make Pet Care Manageable
Moving to assisted living is a big change, but that doesn’t mean it’s negative. One positive aspect of this change is that it’s the perfect opportunity to try new ways of making pet care easier. Along with changes to your daily routine, there are also special considerations to keep in mind now that you’ll be in a shared community.
Preparing Your Pet
Since you will be in close proximity to others, one thing to think about is how friendly your pet is with other people and animals. Another consideration is to make sure your pet is protected against fleas so you don’t risk bringing pests into the community. You want to be sure that any flea medication you use on your dog is not only effective but also safe for other pets and people to be around. That’s why it’s smart to research medications to find a trustworthy product.
Making Everyday Care Easier
As much as you love your pets, everyday actions like bending down to pick up their water bowl become harder as we age. There are easy solutions to most of your pet care troubles, though, such as automatic feeders and water bowls. In fact, there are all kinds of automated pet products out today, including smart dog toys, self-cleaning litter boxes, and even cat health monitors. Giving some of these a try can do even more than ease your burden; it will also give you peace of mind that your pet is healthy and thriving in your new home.
Getting Extra Care
Even with solutions that make pet care easier, it’s still smart to have a plan for getting help if you need it. Besides asking your community if they provide pet services, think about anyone you know who could help. You may also want to search for a vet in your area that does house calls. Fortunately, many vet offices are becoming aware of how they can serve senior pet owners, but it can be even more helpful to find a vet that comes to you.
Besides making life a little easier, the bonus benefit of these pet care solutions is that it frees up more of your time for fun. Who wouldn’t want to spend less time worrying about changing a litter box and more time enjoying your pet’s company? Moving to assisted living will take an adjustment, but we’re certain you will thrive in your new home.
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