If you’re a senior who adores your furry companion, you may want to consider pet-friendly senior living. Pets provide meaningful bonds and improve physical health, serving as an emotional lifeline. 

In fact, there are many benefits of animal-inclusive living. Since our experts at Coral Senior Care Consultants understand the value of aging with pets, we have developed a useful guide to pet-friendly senior living. 

What is Pet-Friendly Senior Living?

Pet-friendly senior living refers to any facility (i.e., independent, assisted, or retirement) or community that allows your beloved animal to reside with you. The communities often provide amenities and services that owners can take advantage of. 

For instance, they may have grooming or dog runs so other owners can socialize and exercise with other community members. In addition, some luxury assisted living facilities have pet care coordinators responsible for overseeing veterinary care. 

image of dogs, cats, rabbit, bird, and mouse for pet friendly senior living benefits
Group of pets in a row, Dogs, cats, rabbit, birds, isolated on white

Important Questions To Ask & Why

Since every community differs in how they cater to animals, it’s necessary to ask questions.

Before selecting a pet-friendly senior living community, consider the following: 

Is this facility made to accommodate pets?

While some residences allow pets to live with their owner, they may not be modified for animals. Namely, they may not have a designated dog-walking area or large enough rooms to accommodate your dog. 

What are the policies and regulations?

Pet-friendly senior living comes with rules and regulations. For example, the residence may have limitations on the number of animals allowed, an up-to-date list of vaccinations, and an emergency contact in case the senior can no longer care for them. 

Before selecting a facility, inquire about their policies to ensure you adhere to them.

Are animal care services offered?

Pet care services (i.e., feeding, grooming, or veterinary care) may be necessary if you have limited mobility or disabilities that prevent you from functioning without caretaker assistance. Learning about the services ensures you and your pet’s needs will be met. 

Does this community have any pet-friendly activities? 

Not all Florida senior care residences have activities for pets. If activities are important to you, find out what they have to offer. 

Are there any size or breed restrictions?

Breed restrictions exist in some communities. For example, some senior communities in Florida exclude large breed dogs or impose weight limits (20 pounds and under). Learning about these regulations will help you narrow down which communities are suitable for you and your pet. 

How much does it cost?

Costs vary in pet-friendly Florida senior homes based on monthly fees or may be included in the total cost of living. If you have a limited budget and the additional costs are worrisome, get in touch with your Coral Senior Care Consultant for free. We will help you compare pricing between facilities to determine what is affordable given your budgetary constraints.

Benefits Of Animal Companionship for Seniors

Pets are more than just loyal companions. Besides being a source of comfort and happiness, they provide numerous benefits. 

The advantages of aging with a pet include the following: 

Mental

According to a study performed on 8,000 older adults, pets slow the progression of cognitive decline (verbal cognition, memory, and fluency) and a lower risk of dementia. 

Having cats, dogs, or other animals also elevates their mood and reduces stress, loneliness, and depression by providing unconditional love and support. Compared to living with other people, seniors feel more needed in comparison to living with other humans, which translates to a greater sense of self-worth and purpose. 

Physical

Studies demonstrate that pets decrease blood pressure and cholesterol due to increased physical activity. As a result, this reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, and overall visits to the doctor. Finally, they assist with pain management and the early detection of health issues. 

Specifically, service dogs can detect dangerous blood sugar fluctuations, warning their owners before emergencies arise. Their enhanced olfactory system has been used for biomedical (i.e., cancer, epilepsy) and infectious disease detection (i.e., COVID-19, Helicobacter pylori). Although the research is still in its infancy, service dogs have so much potential for aiding human health.

Social

Seniors owning pets has been linked to improved socialization and less isolation. Some investigations have revealed that older adults with Alzheimer’s who have a pet exhibit more social behaviors, such as smiling or speaking in their presence

Similarly, studies performed in nursing homes found that patients with pets will participate more than those without.

Contact Coral Senior Care Consultants For Guidance on Pet-Friendly Senior Options in Florida

Pet-friendly senior living is valuable because it provides social, physical, and mental benefits. And Coral Senior Care Consultants care about helping you find senior living options in Florida that improve your health and quality of life. 

Our consultants will prioritize your needs and act as your advocates every step of the way. Whether you’re transitioning to a nursing home or assisted living facility, we will find what works best for you in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando counties.

Contact our specialists today for a consultation, advice, or questions!