Helping coordinate a senior loved one’s move from a house to an assisted living facility can be overwhelming, especially when you add a pet to the mix. If your aging friend or a family member has a furbaby he or she wants to move with to the new home, you may wonder if it is in the best interest of everyone involved to find a community that can accommodate the pet. Today, Catastic outlines several considerations that can guide you in your choice.
Consider the Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors
Pets can have a very positive effect on both the physical and emotional well-being of seniors. The American Heart Association notes that animals can help people relax and destress, even lowering blood pressure. Owning a dog can help encourage seniors to get light exercise and spend some time outdoors.
Animals also help combat loneliness and cure boredom. If you’re concerned about how your loved one will transition to living at a new home, you can take comfort in knowing a pet is there to bring some familiarity and comfort to the situation.
On the other hand, pets can also take on their owner’s stress. So, if your senior loved one is very anxious about the move, you will need to be on the lookout for signs of anxiety in the animal, too. Look for things like increased urination, sudden temperment changes, and changed eating or drinking habits. These things will likely subside over time as your loved one, and their pet adjusts, but you may need to help reduce anxiety in the meantime.
Many Assisted Living Communities are Pet-Friendly
After55.com reports a recent study showed more than three-quarters of senior communities allow pets. It actually behooves many assisted living communities to allow pets, as many people look for this perk when choosing a facility. However, this does narrow down your choices, and it can be difficult to turn down a community that hits all the right marks but restricts pets.
You can easily search for pet-friendly facilities in your area by using filtering systems on senior housing directories to only produce results that allow pets. You’ll often have to do more research online or call the facility to learn what types of pets are allowed and if there are any restrictions. But, a little research can ensure you find the right fit for your loved one and their furry friend.
It May Be More Expensive to Bring Pets
In addition to the cost of caring for a pet, including vet costs and pet insurance, many facilities will also add on an extra pet deposit and may bring up the rent as a safety net in case of any damage. Before choosing a facility, you’ll need to budget your loved one’s available funds and see what sources are available to pay for assisted living.
Homeowners often cover most of the costs by selling their homes. To make the transaction as successful as possible, it’s a good idea to invest in repairs and improvements that can boost the house’s value. A damaged exterior or faulty plumbing can be a big turnoff to potential buyers. You might also consider updating to stainless steel appliances, ceramic flooring, and granite countertops, which are all shown to increase appraisal values. Consult with a local real estate agent to see which upgrades are most desirable in your area so your financial investment pays off.
You’ll also want to make sure that any trace evidence of pets is cleaned before showing your home. You can hire a professional cleaning service to do this for you. In fact, many offer move out services in preparation for a home sale.
Seniors May Need Help Caring for Their Pet
Consider your senior’s level of independence before deciding on the best solution. For seniors who are struggling with day-to-day activities, it’s unreasonable to expect they can also keep up after a pet. However, if they are able to keep and care for their pet, anticipate helping to keep an eye on their pet just in case the situation changes. You can find excellent care advice online, including products that your loved one may need for their pet in their new home. For example, they may need a new pet crate to keep Fluffy or Rover contained when they are not in their room or if medical services come in.
See if there is anyone in the family who has the capacity to help with the pet, particularly when it comes to walks, regular grooming, and trips to the vet. If they are inexperienced, suggest websites with pet care advice to help get them up to speed. Alternatively, your loved one can pay for a pet caretaker or dog walker to handle some of the responsibilities.
If caring for a pet becomes too difficult for your loved one, it may be in the best interest of the pet and the senior to look into a pet therapy program that allows seniors to interact with animals without the responsibility of caring for a pet.
Find a Pet-Friendly Solution
Making the call to move a parent or loved one to an assisted living facility is difficult, and the transition will likely be hard for everyone involved. If possible, find a way for them to keep their beloved pet. Working with your loved one to find an assisted living facility that accepts pets can be extremely beneficial for them. So take time to consider all the factors, such as your loved one’s budget and care needs, as you make a decision.
If your senior loved one is a cat lover, treat them to some purrfect products from Catastic. We have fun items for cats, from toys to window perches, and novelties for their owner, too. Check out our inventory and start shopping today!