Could Mom Still Keep Her Beloved Yorkie if She Moves to Assisted Living?

Moving can be a difficult decision for anyone to make. If your mother has been contemplating a move to assisted living and has finally realized the benefits this elder care option would offer her, she might be worried about her beloved pet. Maybe she has a cat, but what about a dog? Since October is Adopt a Dog Month, it would be a good time to talk about these four-legged friends.

Not all assisted living facilities are the same.

Assisted Living Saraland, AL: Seniors and Pets

Don’t misunderstand the point of this blog: not all assisted living communities are going to operate the same way. Some will accept pets for their residents and others will not. Those that may accept some pets might not accept dogs. They might allow fish or cats or something else, but not all basic pets. Others may allow dogs, but not all breeds.

So, with that being said, could your elderly mother still be able to keep her beloved Yorkshire Terrier, her Yorkie, even if she is moving into an assisted living facility?

Contact the facility directly.

We can not answer this question directly, not for all communities. That’s why it is so important for you or your elderly loved one to reach out and talk to somebody at the assisted living facility directly. This is the only way you’re going to find out whether they allow pets and, if they do, if they allow dogs.

Now, most pets can cause allergies in some individuals. A Yorkshire Terrier may not. A Yorkshire Terrier does not have fur, which is commonly associated with pet dander, which is what causes most pet related allergies.

A Yorkshire Terrier has hair. Hair needs to be cut because it continually grows. Aside from that, though, your mother may feel as though this elder care option should accept her pet because it is not going to shed, leave fur everywhere, or be a risk factor for somebody with allergies to pet dander.

However, most facilities are going to focus on a fair approach. This means, if they have certain issues with pets because of some of the residents and have a policy of no pets or no dogs, they are not going to make exceptions just because one specific breed isn’t going to cause allergic reactions.

What if the assisted living community is not going to allow your mother to keep her beloved pet?

This may be a nonstarter. Your mother may be adamantly opposed to the idea of moving into an assisted living community if they don’t allow her to keep her companion.

That is fine. Keep in mind this is her decision, not yours or anyone else’s. Even if you are absolutely certain your mother needs support on a regular basis and that assisted living is the best elder care option available to her right now, it is her decision.

If she does not want to leave her best friend behind, even as she deals with health issues, physical limitations, or other challenges, it is still up to her and it is important to respect that.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Saraland, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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