Pets and Senior Housing


Note: This post first appeared at

Pets are an important parts of our lives, and no one wants to leave Spot or Tabby behind when moving into a retirement community.  However, more and more communities are realizing that attracting residents means allowing them to keep their pets.  If you’re hunting for a retirement community, here are some things to keep in mind regarding your precious fur baby:

Ask if they allow pets. It sounds silly, but don’t delay moving into a retirement community just because you’re worried you might have to give up an animal.  It’s not uncommon to see a dog or cat (or even a bird!) in an assisted living or memory care community.  Having animals around helps calm residents and create an inviting atmosphere, so don’t be afraid to ask about a community’s pet policy.

Ask about their policies regarding pet deposits, noise, and pet waste removal.  If they do allow pets, they probably have some policy related to how management handles pets.  You don’t want any surprises after moving in, so make sure that you’ve read up on their policies and procedures.

Ask about their policies regarding orphaned pets.  If something happens to you, what happens to your animals?  In most cases, the animal will go to your next of kin or someone that you request.  However, you’ll need to confirm this before moving in so that your priceless pup doesn’t end up living with someone you wouldn’t approve of.

While having a pet at a retirement community isn’t extremely common, it’s becoming more mainstream.  If you want to bring your animal with you, then make sure that you have a thorough understanding of how the community handles pets and its policies related to their care.

Pets & retirement communities, CPR, nursing home costs, and diabetes & dementia


More nursing homes are allowing visits from your pets!

Do staff at retirement communities have an obligation to provide emergency services?

How much will an average nursing home set you back this year? $84,000.

Diabetes get dementia more than 2 years earlier than those without it

PUPPY” © 2010 my talking tree, Attribution 3.0 Generic


Skydiving at 80, pets in retirement communities, living to be 100, and elder scams


It’s never too late to go skydiving; these 80+ women raised money for charity during their 10,000 feet drop.

Good news for animal lovers: More retirement communities are beginning to allow pets!

If you want to live to be 100, eat better and get some more sleep.

Elder scams impact even well-educated people.  This particular story is heartbreaking because the wife still feels like it wasn’t a scam.

Photo courtesy of flawedartist on Flickr.

Pets, negotiating with retirement communities, working is good for you, and driving,


Moving into senior housing doesn’t always mean that you have to give up Fluffy or Spot.  A coming trend is allowing people to keep their pets after they move in!

An update on my post: I’m not the only one advocating that residents negotiate their contracts prior to moving into senior housingFinancial advisors all over are doing the same thing, and they’re saving their clients lots of money!

Do you plan on working for the rest of your life? There’s a new Freakonomics podcast that says working is good for you! (Unfortunately, a new study from the GAO says that it’s harder to for older Americans to stay employed as they age.)

It’s not as simple as just taking away the keys.  There’s evidence that suggests most people stop driving in fits and starts.

Photo courtesy of Tomi Tapio on Flickr.

Painkiller problems, dog lovers & heart attacks, nursing homes, and closeted caregivers

Taking that daily painkiller might do you long-term harm.  New studies cast doubt on the safety of these medications.

If you’re a dog-lover, you’re about nine times more likely to be alive a year after a heart attack.  That’s even more reason to visit your local shelter and find a new best friend!

More evidence that nursing homes are on the decline: States are trying to find new, less expensive, ways of caring for nursing home patients.  This means more time at home.

A recent article says that employees are afraid to let their coworkers know that they are a caregiver.  They worry that it might impact the way they are treated a work.

Heart attacks & sex, brain health, pets, and aging as a disease

Worried about having a heart attack during sex?  A new study shows that the risk isn’t very large, unless you’re having an affair.

There’s a new book out about keeping your brain healthy as you age. The main message is that things slow down as you age, and there are lifestyle choices (medication, addiction, and others) that can make it worse. (Bonus: Help your brain by playing Bingo!)

Taking care of your pet after you go: There are new ways to make sure that Fluffy doesn’t get kicked to the curb. (Bonus: Dogs and cats do dream!)

Is aging a disease?  If so, then we’re going to run into some problems trying to cure it.