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Having a pet can be incredibly beneficial for senior citizens in many ways, and so many senior housing complexes have caught onto the trend and are now allowing their residents to bring their beloved pets with them when they move in. Senior housing complexes are designed so that seniors can live independently, but have access to assistance, community, and resources when they need it. This independent living setup is perfect for having small pets, and so it makes sense that this trend is now taking off. Here's everything you need to know about pet friendly senior housing.

What features do pet friendly senior living complexes typically offer?

What should I look for in pet friendly senior living?

What are the requirements of having a pet in senior living facilities?

How can I benefit from having a pet?

How can my pet benefit from staying with me in senior living facilities?

What are the potential downsides of having a pet in senior living communities?

How should I care for my pet in a senior living facility?

What essentials should I have to care for my pet in senior living facilities?

How can I find pet friendly senior living near me?

What features do pet friendly senior living complexes typically offer?

Senior living complexes are different from nursing homes or assisted living in that they typically allow seniors to live mostly independently. Pet friendly senior housing complexes often function similarly to apartments that allow pets in that they are relatively spacious and safe for animals to live in. They also typically have outdoor common areas where you can walk your dog, or are close to community parks. Some senior housing apartment complexes do offer their residents assistance with their daily tasks, and these complexes may provide some help in caring for pets, although this is rare. Some pet friendly senior housing complexes also have community pets, which residents can spend time with and care for in common areas. These complexes are great for seniors who still want exposure to animals, but aren't quite able to care for a pet on their own.

What should I look for in pet friendly senior living?

When looking for pet friendly senior apartments, there are a few things to consider. The first thing is whether or not your pet will be comfortable in the complex. They should have enough space within your unit to roam around and relax throughout the day without feeling cramped. You should also make sure that you can take your pet outside if they need time outdoors to stay healthy. In case you are planning to bring a dog to a pet friendly senior housing, find out if there's a dog run available as more and more facilities are featuring dog runs where seniors can take their dogs. Additionally, there should be a vet located close enough that you can take your pet in for medical care if they have any illnesses or injuries. The community should be friendly, welcoming, and truly accepting of pets. You might want to see how many other residents have pets and what kind of pets they have to determine how well you'll fit in. More and more senior living communities are recognizing the value of having pets for seniors and provide various pet services that senior pet owners can have access to. Some pet friendly senior housing facilities offer pet concierge option that includes helping older pet owners to stay up to date on pet grooming, and veterinary care.

What are the requirements of having a pet in senior living facilities?

Most senior housing communities have certain requirements you need to follow to have a pet in their facilities. Many communities would prefer you bring in a pet you've already lived with and trained, because it can be difficult to deal with the stress of moving into a new facility and having a new pet, and it's difficult to predict how the pet will react to living in this new space. Some senior apartment communities also have weight or breed restrictions on the pets you can bring in. Certain dog breeds can be too aggressive or energetic for many seniors, and so they'll want to prevent any problems that may come along with that. The relatively small living space that many communities provide can also be a bit too restrictive for many pets. The ideal pet for seniors is neither a baby nor an older pet, doesn't have medical or behavioral issues, and has a calm and friendly temperament. If you're unsure about whether or not your pet would be a good fit for a senior housing community, talk to the staff and ask if they can meet your pet. Many facilities will make this decision on a case-by-case basis, so if you can show them that your pet is a good fit for a senior community, they'll likely be very accepting.

How can I benefit from having a pet?

There are so many ways that seniors can benefit from having a pet, particularly as they're transitioning into retirement and living in senior housing. One of the biggest benefits of having a pet is that animal companions prevent depression and loneliness, and they can also help reduce stress. Many seniors struggle with depression when they move into senior living. This major life change can be very overwhelming, and having a pet can prevent these stresses from becoming too much. Since pets naturally put you in a good mood, they can also benefit your overall energy levels and physical well-being. Having a pet forces an older person to maintain a semi-regular schedule, which is very important for anyone in retirement. It's very easy to end up doing nothing all day when you have no responsibilities, which can lead to depression as well as a variety of physical problems. Animal companions need to be fed and played with every day. Seniors with pets tend to plan ahead and fit in some activity that involves their pets as opposed to sitting on the couch. Pets naturally encourage seniors to be active, because they need regular play, exercise, and stimulation. A gentle walk or play session with your pet every day can provide the exercise and mental activity that you need to stay healthy, and because being with your pet is fun, it doesn't even feel like work. Seniors should aim to get regular exercise several times per week, so having a pet is a great way to fit it into your schedule naturally. Research suggests that seniors with dogs, for example, spend much more time walking and getting fresh air outdoors in comparison to older people who do not own pets. Finally, pets are a great way to encourage social interaction and combat feelings of loneliness. Not only does being with your pet feel social, but living in a pet friendly community allows you to interact and bond with other pet owners over your love of animals. It's very important for seniors to stay social and maintain positive relationships as they progress into old age. Social interaction is mentally and emotionally stimulating, and makes for a more well-rounded life.

How can my pet benefit from staying with me in senior living?

Pet friendly senior housing doesn't just benefit seniors, it benefits animals as well. There are thousands of animals around the country who live in animal shelters or on the streets that need homes. By caring for a pet, you're giving them a good life that they may otherwise never have had access to. Being able to take a pet that you've had for years into senior apartments with you also ensures that your pet doesn't have to go back to a shelter or transition to living with another owner, which can be very stressful for animals. Seniors typically make great pet owners, because they have plenty of time to spend with their pet. Many retirees welcome the responsibility of taking care of an animal. Some shelters have even started partnership programs with senior communities to benefit aging seniors and animals alike.

What are the potential downsides of having a pet in senior living communities?

There are some potential negatives to having a pet in senior housing with you that are important to consider before you make a final decision about where to live. The first is that your pet will have less room to roam in senior housing than they probably are used to. For small pets, this usually isn't too big of a concern, but for larger dogs, it may be something to consider before you move in. The other issue is that there may be some limits on where you can take your pet within the senior housing community or how it can interact with others. Not all seniors are comfortable with animals, and some may not react well to your pet. While this isn't typically a huge issue in centers that are pet-friendly, it's still important to think about how you'd like to handle any conflicts surrounding your pet. The final downside is that some facilities charge extra fees for pets because they require extra cleaning. While these fees usually aren't too expensive, this may be a deterrent if you are on a budget. Be sure to ask your facility about any potential fees before signing a lease to avoid being blindsided.

How should I care for my pet in senior living?

It's very important that you are aware and attentive to your pet's needs while living in senior housing with them. Find out in advance about any pet related services that the senior housing of your choice is offering. Moving to a new place is always overwhelming for animals, so it's important that you do what you have to in order to make them feel comfortable and relaxed. Animal companions should have enough space in your senior apartment to relax and play, and you should make sure to bring their favorite blankets and toys with you to the new space. It's important that you stick to their normal food and bathroom schedule to give them a sense of normalcy and comfort in the new space, and also make sure you're taking plenty of time to play with them throughout the day. Before moving into a senior living facility, be sure that your pet is up to date on all their shots, and if they go outside, apply flea medicine for them as well. Your vet can recommend any other care your pet may need during this transition time.

What essentials should I have to care for my pet in senior living facilities?

It's also important to stock up on pet care essentials before you move into pet friendly senior housing, as you may not go to the store as often once you move in. Of course, you'll need healthy food for your pet, as well as bathroom supplies like cat litter or dog cleanup bags. You'll also need some comfy blankets for your pet, and a crate for them to hang out in if that's something they're used to. Having a comfortable and secure carrying case for your pet can help to keep your furry friend safe during the move. In addition to these basics, go to the pet store and pick up toys, treats, and any specialized medication or other health items you may need. Having things to play with during a move will keep your pet happy and distracted, and you can reward their good behavior with treats as well. Having toys to play with will also keep pets from damaging your new apartment, which is very important. You may want to invest in some cleaning supplies as well to keep your space clean if your animal sheds or has an accident.

How can I find pet friendly senior living near me?

There are many ways to find pet friendly senior living in your area. At our mission is to help you find the right pet friendly senior living facilities nearby. Always ask senior housing facility about their pet policy - many facilities will be happy to accommodate you. Don't be discouraged if you don't find the perfect fit right away, as each senior apartment complex is different and it's important to take the time to find one that's right for your needs and the needs of your pet. You may have to look outside your hometown to other places in your state or metro area to find a good senior housing facility that's a great fit for you and your pet.

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