The fear of having to give up a beloved pet is among the top emotional reasons seniors resist moving into a senior living arrangement, according to an informal survey by author and senior real estate specialist Bruce Nemovitz. When he asked seniors to name the top three factors that kept them from moving, respondents ranked the prospect of losing a pet as equally daunting to giving up their familiar home and possessions.
While you gain a lot by moving into senior living — freedom from home maintenance tasks, a socially fulfilling environment and chore-free living — there’s no denying that you will have to give up your familiar surroundings. But as long as you are able to continue caring for your pet, there’s no reason you should have to leave your best friend behind!
Pets are good medicine
Senior living communities like Brookdale Senior Living not only welcome pets, we encourage residents to have companion animals. Few things in life have the loneliness-busting power of a pet. Numerous studies show pets are good for our physical and emotional health, no matter what our age.
Since our focus is on the overall well-being of all our residents, we recognize that having a pet can be hugely beneficial to seniors, especially those who might be worrying about making the transition to senior living arrangements.
Bringing your best friend along
Brookdale’s pet policy is pretty straightforward. Your pet can live with you in a Brookdale community as long as he or she:
- Is a critter generally considered a domestic pet, such as a small dog or cat, bird, rabbit, rat, hamster, fish or turtle. Check with your community managers to confirm your pet meets the standards.
- Is current on all vaccinations and has regular exams by a licensed veterinarian, including a checkup before you move into your senior living community.
- Has a state- or county-issued license, if required.
- Is house- or litter-trained.
- Is well-behaved, meaning not aggressive or likely to jump on or upset other residents.
Your pet will be able to live with you in your apartment as long as you are able to care for him or her, including feeding, walks, potty needs and any medications required. You can take your pet for walks around the community, but be sure to avoid community food preparation and dining areas, as most health laws prohibit animals in such locations. We’ll also ask for a nonrefundable fee and that you read and agree to our pet policies. Finally, if your pet leaves your apartment, it will need to wear a collar and proper ID as well as be on a leash.
Moving into a senior living community is a big change, but one that should be positive and happy for you. Bringing your best friend along is a great way to carry something loved and familiar with you into your new living arrangements.