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“Can My Loved One Bring a Pet When S/he Moves to a Senior Living Community?”

089I remember when I received a phone call from an 82-year-old client who was crying piteously. She needed to move to a senior living community because the upkeep on her house was just too burdensome. She was terrified that she could not take her 80-pound Labrador with her. In addition, she wanted to continue to send the dog to the same doggy day care organization on a daily basis because the dog loved the socialization with the other dogs.

Although my initial phone calls to area senior living communities were met with some raised eyebrows from several of the Admissions Directors, I was able to find my client a beautiful apartment with a sliding back door and a backyard. She could lead the dog straight out the back door. In addition, it was within the specified distance so the doggy day care bus could still pick up the dog!

Generally, here are the rules regarding pets at senior living communities:

  1. Although a dog weighing under 40 pounds is typically not an issue, you can use some bargaining power for dogs that are bigger. Many independent living communities are not full. Most Admissions Directors will be willing to accept a dog as long as the senior can take care of it and it is well-behaved. Cats are not a problem.
  2. Assisted living communities (non-memory care) are willing to accept a dog or cat as long as some provision is made to take care of the animal. Many places charge an annual fee, up front, to assist with taking care of the pet.
  3. If your loved one needs to move to a nursing home, you need to make other arrangements for a pet. Many nursing homes have a community dog or cat. But, you will have to make arrangements to have your loved one’s dog visit.

Your loved one does not need to fear parting with Fido, except in the last circumstance. I have always been able to bargain on the senior’s behalf to never ever have to part with his/her best friend!

For all of your senior living needs, contact Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or email us. Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.

Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors
497 Shire Circle
Inverness, IL 60067
Phone: 847.934.5303
Cell: 708.415.2934