If you have an elderly loved that will be entering an assisted living facility, there is going to be some feelings of sadness, loneliness, and even depression about the abrupt change in living conditions. In some cases, having a pet living with them can help reduce some of these feelings. Keep the following in mind if your loved one wants to have a pet with them in assisted living:
Ask About What Type Of Pets Are Allowed
When you are deciding on what type of pet to get, be sure your loved one is in a facility that allows pets. While many places will allow them, there may be restrictions on the type of animal that is allowed. For example, some facilities may be fine with cats but disallow dogs. Others may allow dogs but will limit the breeds. There may also be a size limit on the pet as well. These are all questions you should ask the facility management before broaching the subject of a pet with your family member.
Only Get A Pet Your Loved One Can Handle Themselves
Another thing to consider before adding a pet is whether or not your loved one can handle a pet by himself or herself. They will need to be able to feed and water it, take it on walks if it is a dog, change a litter box for cats, and take care of its grooming. While having a pet is a great distraction, it is a large responsibility. You don't want your loved one to become overwhelmed and frustrated with caring for the animal.
Consider The Future
You will also need to consider the future with regard to the pet. Though it is sad to think about, more than likely, your loved one will not be around for as many years as the pet will. He or she could also become too sick or physically unable to care for it at some point. The pet will eventually become your responsibility, and you will need to think about what will happen to it when that time comes. Think about whether or not you are willing to take in the pet yourself or if it will need to be re-homed. Have a plan in place as to where the pet will go after its owner is no longer able to care for it.
Pets can be a great asset for senior citizens. They can help them remain happy, strong, and independent. When you are choosing a pet, you may want to consider adopting an older animal that is used to living inside rather than a young one in order to make the process a bit easier.
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