When Moving Into Assisted Living, Don’t Leave Your Best Friend Behind
Pet ownership is a rewarding experience for senior citizens. Pets give them unconditional love and companionship, which they may not have otherwise. They provide a sense of purpose in their lives and offer a way to stay active.
In fact, according to a study by the University of California, seniors who live with pets have lower rates of depression and loneliness. They also have more social interaction and better mental health than those who don’t. The study also found that pet owners are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, or dementia, enjoy more leisure time, and spend less time hospitalized due to chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes.
In a nutshell, pets are an important part of senior care, but what if your senior loved one is ready to move from independent living to assisted living? Not having their pet with them can be devastating emotionally and even physically, so finding a facility that will accept pets is critical. So here are some tips from Adult Care Advisors to get you started.
Finding the Right Assisted Living Facility
Assisted living facilities are ideal for senior citizens who no longer want to live on their own because of the need for companionship, a sense of close community or because they worry about what could happen if they become ill or injured. And many seniors also choose assisted living facilities because they provide support in the form of services and amenities such as 24-hour nursing care, dietary meals, and transportation.
There are many factors that go into choosing a good assisted living facility:
- Location: Where will they be living? What services are nearby?
- Cost: How much does the facility cost? Can they afford it?
- Staff: Do they have the experience and qualifications to provide quality care? How long have they been in their position at the facility? What are their credentials and certifications? What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
- Services Offered: What kind of care does the facility offer its residents? Are there activities for seniors to participate in or classes for them to learn new skills or hobbies?
- Pet Friendly: Do they accept pets? Are there breed or weight restrictions?
A good way to research nearby assisted living facilities is to use online tools that can answer a lot of those questions for you. They allow you to read reviews from families, explore detailed facility reports, and learn more about costs and payment options.
Keeping Up With Appearances
Having your pet professionally groomed can help them live longer and healthier lives. Professional grooming can also help you avoid any health problems related to your pet’s coat or skin. Proper grooming makes it easier for you to control fleas/ticks and other parasites on your pet. If your pet is not properly groomed, it could make an unpleasant smell which may be offensive and even harmful to those around them.
Additionally, another part of keeping your pet healthy and happy means doing your homework to make sure that the pet-related products you buy are safe and trustworthy.
When you move into an assisted living facility with a dog, it is more than advisable to have them work with a professional dog trainer. A professional dog trainer will be able to teach the dog how to behave in the new environment and take care of any behavioral issues that may arise.
Professional dog trainers help control barking and other unwanted behaviors. You want your dog to learn good manners, such as walking on a leash and not jumping on people or furniture, and that can usually only be taught by a professional trainer. The American Kennel Club suggests asking the trainer about their methods and training philosophy and making sure you’re comfortable with their approach.
Once you and your loved one have decided that an assisted living facility is a good choice, do your homework and evaluate them by reading reviews from other families. If you’re bringing a pet, make sure that they are properly groomed and well trained. A pet can make the transition so much easier, so be sure to find the right place for both of you.
Adult Care Advisors assists families who need to provide care for seniors. Our team of skilled adult care consultants operates as a competent sounding board, providing families with information and advising about the best options for seniors. Call 732-299-5040.