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  • Your Guide to Navigating Assisted Living with a Pet
  • October 11, 2021
  • Posted by Claude
  • Category Blog
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Author: Jessica Brody

Moving from a familiar, well-loved home to an assisted living facility can be a difficult transition for many individuals, but Treehugger cites studies showing that pets can provide solace during the process. As you figure out the details of taking your pet along, check out the following tips to set you on the right path.

How Can I Find Local Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Communities?

One of the easiest ways to sort through all the assisted living facilities in your area is to browse through options in a directory. These sites list most of the communities available in the region and often filter by facility type, location, move-out date, and amenities.

Several directories narrow the search by listing only locations that allow pets. Once you explore an option further, you can find the specifics, including breed, species, and age restrictions, required pet rent or deposits, and requested documentation.

Word of mouth is another way to learn about assisted living communities in your area. If someone recommends a facility but you can’t find information online, you can typically get a quick, accurate answer by calling the office.

Is It Expensive to Take a Pet to an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted living facilities that welcome pets may charge more than regular communities since the grounds and staff often make certain accommodations to house animals. For instance, the community may want to incorporate designated lawn areas where animals can play or go to the bathroom, and staff members may become responsible for picking up after pets if owners are unable or unwilling to clean up pet waste themselves.

Many facilities also require an upfront pet deposit and additional monthly rent to help cover any costs incurred from destructive pet behaviors. There are also other expenses associated with caring for pets, such as the cost of food and other pet necessities, vaccinations, and routine or unexpected vet visits. These charges can quickly add up, especially if a pet has a medical condition.

How Can I Cover the Cost of Assisted Living?

Taking a pet along to an assisted living facility limits an individual’s choice of a home, which can lead to higher monthly payments. Some people may use personal savings, veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, or a pension plan to cover some of the costs of care.

Equity — the amount of a home’s value that belongs to the owner — from a house sale can help fund assisted living as well. But it can take some time to prepare the house and increase its value before placing it on the market. Implementing renovations, such as addressing any issues with drafty or cracked windows, replacing leaking pipes, or investing in a necessary roof repair can make the property more attractive to buyers. As such, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s trending in your market.

Can I Get Assistance Caring for My Pet?

People sometimes have difficulty giving pets the level of care they require and may need assistance taking their animal on walks, cleaning up after dog hair and pet waste, or coordinating veterinary care. Residents can get help from a pet walker, pet coordinator, family member, or local organization. This becomes especially important on moving day to ease the pet’s anxiety with a favorite toy, treat, or special attention. Some assisted living facilities may include pet services at an additional cost.

What if I Can’t Take My Pet

If you’re unable to find or afford a community that allows pets, you may have to make some difficult decisions. Ideally, if you have to give up your pet, it should go to a friend or family member who can easily take care of and bond with your animal companion. In the event that you can’t find anyone to take your pet, you’ll have to find another way to rehome them. One great option is to look to rescue organizations geared toward your pet’s breed or that specialize in helping pets find new homes. To ease the burden of giving up your beloved friend, be sure to take several photographs you can frame, and consider having their likeness created in digital artwork from Dog Breed Cartoon. Having these images nearby can give you comfort as you adjust to your new life.

There are several factors to consider when moving to an assisted living community with a pet. Ensure a smooth transition by knowing what to look for in a facility and getting settled in with your furry companion once you arrive.

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