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Moving an elderly family member into a senior housing community is a difficult time for everyone. The family member is giving up their home and some of their independence. The rest of the family may feel guilty for moving the relative, especially if it is not the elder's decision. Loosing their pets will only make things more difficult
Your Family Member Will Not Have to Give Up Their Pets
Just as with renting any other space, the rules on pets will not be the same in every complex. If your family member owns a pet, or would like to, then finding a complex that allows animals may be worth the effort. This transition is often a difficult one, and anything you can do to make things easier can help ease that transition. This can include moving near friends, finding a place that will allow the senior to keep their furniture, and even bringing along their favorite cat or dog.
This move is often better for the pet as well. Even if you do find a family member or friend that is willing to take the animal instead of having to take it to a shelter, this is a pet that is added to the family out of obligation instead of because the family wanted it. By staying with the original owner, the pet can retain its schedule and will be less likely to suffer from neglect.
A Dog or Cat is a Fantastic Companion for Anyone
Studies prove that cats and dogs make good social companions for humans. In particular, they help fill many of the gaps that many seniors find in their lives as friends and spouses begin to pass away. Animals provide that constant companionship, and their care encourage the senior citizen to remain active. Benefits include:
Staff is Able to Assist Both Your Family Member and Their Pet
As senior citizens continue to get older, they need more and more assistance with daily life. Even independent living communities recognize this and are able to offer at least basic support in allowing the resident with simple tasks. This support may extend to the pets in the resident's care, and it is best to look for a community that has at least an animal assistance coordinator on staff.
This support will be critical to ensuring your peace of mind. It is easier to remember to eat when you feel hungry than it is to remember to feed someone else. If your relative's memory starts to decline, they might forget to feed and medicate their pets, even if they still can feed themselves. Having staff members who are dedicated towards ensuring the health and safety of both your relative and their pets ensures that everyone is well cared for.
The reality is that an aging relative will require your family to make many difficult decisions on their behalf. Independent senior housing is a great solution for those that are still able to care for themselves but need a little extra help and monitoring. Working with a facility that allows pets will allow your family member to keep their animals, thereby improving their quality of life.