More than half of older adults living in America have a pet that they love spending time with and caring for. In addition to companionship, some studies suggest that pets can reduce stress and anxiety, provide a sense of purpose, help us stay physically active and even lower blood pressure as we age. Because of these benefits, many dementia assisted living facilities will allow their residents to bring along a pet, as long as they meet the posted guidelines.
Rules and Regulations for Pets in Assisted Living Facilities
A memory care facility in Austin will likely be happy to accommodate residents’ furry friends, although they’ll probably have some rules regarding them. The rules depend on the facility you choose, but some of them may include:
- Restrictions on the type of pet allowed
- Restrictions on dog breeds (i.e., pit bulls, rottweilers)
- Restrictions on weight
In addition, dementia assisted living facilities may also request that the resident designate a family member or friend who will be able to take care of the pet, should the resident ever become unable to care for them. The facility will also likely mandate that the pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations before moving in.
Questions to Ask Before Moving In with a Pet
Before you choose a dementia care facility for your loved one and their pet to live in, it’s important to ask the staff a few questions about the rules and expectations for pets. Some questions you may want to ask include:
- Are there any breed restrictions?
- Are there any size restrictions?
- How many other pets currently live in the facility?
- Are there any one-time or monthly fees to have a pet?
- What health information will need to be disclosed?
- What happens if the resident is no longer able to care for the pet?
- Are there any on-site pet services, like dog walking or grooming?
By asking these questions, you’ll know about the expectations that the memory care facility in Austin has regarding pets, and you’ll be better able to choose the best facility for your loved one.
Benefits of Pets for Your Loved One
While the rules at different Austin dementia care facilities vary, most have pet-friendly policies to accommodate residents with furry friends. Pets help seniors feel less isolated, give them a sense of purpose and are shown to reduce depression.