Helping Aging Parents With Their Pets

senior-man-relaxing-with-petsBeloved pets are often part of the family, making it exceedingly difficult for seniors to part ways with them. That is why seniors often want to prolong a potential separation with their pets as long as possible. Aside from unconditional love and joy, pets also provide health benefits to seniors. A few benefits include fewer instances of boredom, depression, anxiety, and lowered cholesterol and blood pressure.

However, pets are still a responsibility, and if the seniors are unable to take care of them, chances are that these pets have to be re-homed at some point. Moving into an assisted living facility that does not allow pets could also mean that the pet cannot live with them any further.

Tip #1 – Ask The Assisted Living Community

If your parent is moving into an assisted living facility, it is a good idea to ask management if they can recommend someone in the area. Chances are that our loved ones are not the only people who have ever dealt with the issue of moving somewhere where pets are not allowed. Management often has some good recommendations as to where to house the pets.

Alternatively, they might be able to make adjustments or help provide with a sitting service that would make it possible for the senior to still keep his or her best friend at their side. It is always a good idea to ask rather than assume.

Tip #2 – Re-Home To A Family Member Or Close Friend

If the pet is unable to live with your parents (either temporarily or permanently), it might be a good idea to have these pets live with a close friend or family member. This is going to help your parents feel as though their loved ones are still taken care of, while making it possible to come for the occasional visit. That way, both parties gain something without resorting to a shelter.

Option #3 – Non Profit Organizations/No Kill Shelters

Pets are often a lifelong commitment, and breaking the commitment can be very difficult emotionally. However, if seniors are unable to care for their pets (whether it be due to injury, illness, or ailments), it might be in the best interest of both parties. However, that does not mean that the separation will not feel as intense. This is often a last resort resource, after all the different options have been exhausted.

If you are wondering whether a particular assisted living facility allows for pets, it is a good idea to check the different options at

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