Pet-Friendly Assisted Living: What to Know? 

Pet-Friendly Assisted Living: a happy senior woman with a cat resting in bed.

One of the most popular questions about senior living communities is, “Does assisted living allow pets?” Thankfully, pet-friendly assisted living facilities are growing in popularity, so if your loved one can’t bear to leave their beloved pet behind, you should be able to find assisted living facilities that allow pets in communities near you and across the country.

Are Pets Allowed In Assisted Living Facilities?

More often than not these days, the answer is yes!

Most communities do have regulations for pets in assisted living, and we’ll talk about them here. 

Your loved one can also benefit tremendously from pet-friendly assisted living, and we’ll tell you how.

It’s A Fact – A Pet Can Benefit Seniors

Let’s look at the benefits of pet ownership for your loved one. 

After that, we’ll examine possible pet regulations in assisted living facilities and answer some of your other questions.

Seniors Enjoy Greater Health Benefits

Studies show how much pets can benefit seniors:

  • A Senior’s Mobility Is Increased

Pet ownership allows your loved one to get moving, whether walking their dog or simply playing with their cat. Physical activity isn’t just an excellent benefit for seniors; it helps them stay healthier and enjoy life longer.

  • A Senior’s Mental Health Can Improve

We’re learning more about how mental health is essential to overall wellness. Caring for pets in assisted living gives your loved one some responsibility and the joy of companionship, and some healthcare providers say this helps prevent symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

  • Minimizing the Risks of Heart Disease

Medical research has shown that the bond between a pet and its owner is so strong that it can improve cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Your loved one can live longer and healthier by having a pet in an assisted living facility.

Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Gives Seniors a Purpose

When your loved one in assisted living knows their pet depends on them for love and care, it gives the senior better self-worth and a sense of daily purpose.

Assisted Living Facilities That Allow Pets Help Seniors Make Friends 

Pet-Friendly Assisted Living: a happy smiling couple walking with a dog.

Pet lovers know it’s easier to meet new people and initiate a conversation when the pet is the center of attention. Pets in assisted living can help your loved one get talking to other residents and make new friends at any age.

What Are The Regulations For Pets In Assisted Living Facilities

Any assisted living facility that allows pets will generally have regulations to ensure the peace and security of all residents.

Here’s what to know:

  • There may be restrictions on the size and breed of animals allowed in pet-friendly assisted living facilities. Smaller dogs or cats are generally preferred, and there may be a temperament assessment to ensure the pet is non-aggressive.
  • Proof of a pet’s vaccinations is generally required in assisted living facilities.
  • Noise requirements are standard in pet-friendly assisted living, so it’s important that the pet is quiet and doesn’t cause other residents’ inconveniences.
  • Age and training requirements for pets in assisted living mean that your loved one’s pet is fully housebroken and generally over one year old.
  • Some assisted living facilities that allow pets may require an extra deposit, either refundable or non-refundable, for security and insurance purposes.
  • Assisted living facilities generally limit the number of pets allowed. It’s common for a facility to cap the number of pets to two pets per resident.
  • Pet-friendly assisted living communities may ask for a designated pet caretaker to assume responsibility for the pet if the resident becomes ill or faces other problems that make pet ownership too challenging.

Questions For Assisted Living Communities That Allow Pets

When an assisted living facility allows pets and has regulations for residents, it’s also important to ask questions to ensure this community is the best place for your loved one.

Here’s what to ask:

  • Does the assisted living facility have a designated area to walk pets that is safe and well-lit?
  • Are dog waste bags available, and is the animal waste removal policy enforced?
  • What are the pet deposit fees, if any?
  • What are the facility’s noise regulations, and is there a limitation on the number and kind of pets?
  • Is the facility safe for owners and their pets, with secure access (e.g., elevators and exit doors in an emergency)?

Keeping Seniors Happy In Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Facilities

There are easy ways to help your loved one move into pet-friendly assisted living with fewer hassles and less stress. 

Follow these tips so your loved one and their beloved pet are happier in an assisted living community:

  • Having the pet’s favorite food and treats and their familiar toys, blankets, and bed will make a new place feel more like home.
  • Keep a regular feeding, walking, and sleeping routine with the pet as they did before.
  • For cat owners, ensure the living space has enough area for a designated litterbox separate from the food and water bowls.
  • For all pet owners, it’s best if the new space has a closet or cupboard to organize the pet’s food and supplies.
  • A slow and gentle introduction between the pet and new people is less likely to scare or overwhelm the animal.
  • If other residents are afraid of animals, don’t force an interaction.
  • If other residents or staff have fur or dander allergies, keep the pet away from them.

Final Thoughts On Pets In Assisted Living Facilities

At Retreat at Carrollton, we realize that pets are essential to any family. 

Pet-Friendly Assisted Living: welsh corgi dogs and a british longhair cat on the sofa.

When searching for the right senior living community for your loved one with a pet, the best way to start is by asking questions like “Are pets allowed in assisted living facilities?” or “Does assisted living allow pets?” If you’re interested in learning more about our pet-friendly assisted living community, contact our team today.

For your loved one, knowing they can have pets in assisted living is not only a tremendous relief – it can have proven health benefits, too. 

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