Are most assisted living communities pet friendly?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Health care providers and assisted living staff today recognize the benefits of pet therapy and pet ownership for seniors. Caring for pets gives seniors in assisted living an important responsibility they can be proud of accomplishing. Petting dogs or cats has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and create other positive physiological changes. For many seniors, their pet is a family member that they wouldn't part with when they move to assisted living.

    Many assisted living communities today are pet friendly but rules vary. For instance, some assisted living communities only allow one pet per apartment. Others only allow cats or small dogs under 20 lbs. Some will permit virtually any breed or size of dog or cat, and exotic pets, as well.

    There are many different levels of “pet-friendly” senior living accommodations. Some assisted living communities are extremely supportive of pet care, and staff can assist with the care and feeding of a pet if a resident can't do it, due to illness or injury. On-site veterinary care, or transportation to vet's visits, may be provided. Some assisted living communities even have their own “community” pets or offer pet therapy sessions to residents.

    If owning a pet is important, make sure to ask about the rules before you choose an assisted living community. Are pets allowed and what level of services are offered? You should definitely be able to find an assisted living community that will welcome you and your furry friend. Those with pets must be able to take care of them on their own.