Understand Expectations of an Assisted Living Facility as It Pertains to Pets BEFORE Committing to a Move

You wouldn’t think about signing a lease at an apartment sight unseen, having asked no questions or read any information about the facility, would you? Most people wouldn’t. They would want to know if this was in a safe neighborhood, what kind of amenities were offered, whether they would be able to have certain plants out on the balcony, or if they’d be able to hang lights up in the windows during the holiday season or have a pet.

For any senior who is contemplating assisted living and has a pet, whether it’s a dog or cat, they would certainly wish to know if they could take this beloved animal with them.


Some assisted living facilities allow pets.

Assisted Living Fairhope, Al: Understand Expectations of an Assisted Living Facility

Not all of them do. The ones that do allow pets may have specific requirements they must meet, such as the size of the animal. A dog over 25 pounds, for example, may not be permitted at a particular facility. If a senior is having difficulty taking care of himself or herself at home or is simply spending too much time alone and wishes to be surrounded by peers their own age, assisted living is a wonderful option to consider.


However, pets make wonderful companions.

In fact, there is solid research that indicates pets can help lower blood pressure, improve health, and provide a sense of companionship for people as they age. Just the simple act of petting an animal sitting next to you or on your lap can reduce stress and anxiety and lower blood pressure.


How can you find out this information?

Many assisted living facilities will offer tour options for prospective seniors and/or their family members. You can go on one of these designated tours, check out the grounds, see some of the facilities, and ask questions. You may also be able to go online and check out the information pertaining to a particular facility directly.


What if an assisted living facility does allow pets?

Let’s say, for example, a facility allows small dogs less than 25 pounds. They will likely have specific requirements that must be met, such as being sure that animal is on a leash whenever it is outside the room. They may have designated dog walking areas and require people to clean up after their pet.


If a senior is physically unable to perform some of these tasks, they might need help. Staff may be available, but that could be an extra fee, depending on the facility. The senior may need to have somebody come in and take care of their pet once or twice a day, such as a dog walker or a pet sitter.


If that’s the case, it’s also important to understand the expectations and requirements of that particular assisted living community as it pertains to outside visitors or guests. The more you learn about expectations and requirements for pets at assisted living, the easier it will be for the senior to make the right decision for himself or herself.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living near Fairhope, 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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