Are you or an aging loved one planning to move to assisted living soon? Whether you are researching assisted living options for yourself or an aging parent, there are many factors to consider. If you or your loved one also owns a pet, this means finding a facility that allows them to tag along. If you’re not sure where to start with this process, then these tips may help.
Online Tools Can Be Helpful for Comparing Communities
If you are a senior or family caregiver who is just beginning the search for pet-friendly assisted living accommodations, then search tools and sites like A Place for Mom are your best bet. You can use these tools to pull up a list of available Austin communities; then, you can use filters to narrow down that list to facilities that best fit your needs.
Keep in mind that while finding a pet-friendly place should be a priority, you also need to make sure that the desire for pet allowances does not interfere with the ability to receive proper care and help with daily living tasks. If you are struggling to pay for assisted living, it’s also prudent to put financial needs before the needs of pets, which can be difficult for seniors. You may be able to use benefits or home equity to help cover any additional assisted living costs for pet-friendly communities, but if not, you may also need to come up with an alternate plan for your pet.
Companion Animals Can Be Beneficial for Senior Wellness
If you are looking into this issue for an aging parent, you may not be overly concerned with whether he/she gets to keep pets in assisted living. Since transitioning parents to assisted living can be such an emotionally straining and draining process, it’s only natural to focus your attention on bigger issues around this move. As emotional as this transition may be for you as a caregiver, you should keep in mind that it is even more difficult for your loved one. So, as you help your aging relative look into assisted living options, keep this in mind and try your best to honor their desires for a pet-friendly facility. While it may take longer to find a community (although using the tools above can certainly help), the benefits for your aging parent will be worthwhile. That’s because pets benefit seniors in several ways. Seniors who have pets tend to be more active, and pets also prevent seniors from experiencing loneliness.
Alternative Care Options Can Help Keep Pets Happy and Healthy
You may have started to realize the responsibilities involved with moving and caring for a pet in assisted living. While having a pet in your golden years can certainly enrich your life, you may need some additional help caring for your furry family member as you age. Luckily, you can find most of the help you need using apps, websites, and online services. For example, you can hire dog walkers to make sure your pet gets enough exercise during the day, or you can hire pet sitters if you need to be away from your new home. If getting out to purchase pet food and supplies is a burden for you or a senior loved one, there are also repeat delivery services that can make getting what your canine or feline companion needs less of a hassle. Many of the same sites that offer auto-delivery for dog food also give you the option of having other pet essentials, like litter, bags, and treats, delivered as needed. Finally, to be prepared for the unexpected, it also helps to know how to safely rehome a pet.
Moving to assisted living can be stressful enough. If you can manage it for yourself or a senior family member, try to at least find a new home where pets will be welcomed. Also, look for ways to make caring for that pet less of a struggle so you don’t have to say goodbye just yet.
Author: James Hall
Photo Credit: Unsplash