Yes, pets ARE welcome!
Did you know many assisted living communities gladly accept pets? A move can be good for both of you! Life in an assisted living community means more social interaction and more activity, all of which is good for your pet. (And for you!) Research shows many health benefits of pet ownership. Heart rates and stress levels drop when pets enter our lives. In the long term, people with pets can see lowered cholesterol and better ability to fight depression.
We all need a sense of purpose, and caring for a pet provides purpose. Their unconditional acceptance of who we are, with all of our imperfections, soothes anxieties, promotes self-confidence and helps us strive to be the person our pet thinks we are.
You’ll find many assisted living communities have a pet who “works” as a greeter, visitor and all-around happiness-maker. When you tour, ask to meet the resident pet. A welcome to the community ear scratch will make both of you feel good!
If concern for your pet is stopping your move, it’s time to do your research. Find a few assisted living communities that accept pets, then go visit! Ask about logistics like fees, security deposits and whether pet care can be provided by the facility. For example, if you were sick, would the staff walk the dog? Find out about vaccination and spay/neuter requirements. Are exercise areas convenient? Does a mobile vet or groomer stop by the community?
There is one caveat, though: senior living communities may have limitations on the size and number of pets they allow. Make sure you are honest with the community about your pet and your expectations.
Our lives are enriched by the love, companionship and responsibility of caring for a pet. Don’t assume you have to give that up! Explore your options and see if you can’t enrich both of your lives.