Creating age in place plans for your pets is as necessary for planning to age in place yourself. If you own a pet it is vital you have a plan in place for your health and theirs should needs change.
Most pets are a long term commitment. Your pet becomes an extended family member, and it is heart breaking when owners and pets have to be separated. Avoid such a scenario by creating a plan to meet your pets needs, as your abilities change. Your pet deserves having a plan in place.
Create a Plan for Your Pet
Creating age in place plans for pets in your life can be easy to set up with some conversations with your support system.
Your age in place plan should be able to address the following:
- How will I feed, groom and care for my pet?
- What if I can’t take it for walks?
- Who will I transport it to vet care and groomers when I can’t drive?
- Where will it stay while I am in hospital?
- Who will it live with if I am forced to move to a care facility?
When owning a pet, look within your support system for the easiest plans. Is there a family member, friend or neighbour who already knows the pet that could help with pet care, transportation or become a temporary home for your pet? Be sure their name and number is on the fridge for pet care, so ambulance attendants could call them if necessary. Ensure to include your support person is registered with your vet or on microchips for an extra layer of security.
When You Don’t Have a Support System
If the answer is ‘no’, and you own a dog, you may want to register your pet with ElderDog Edmonton. They have volunteers who can help with feeding, walking, transportation and temporary foster care – but only if you have pre-registered your dog with them. They are not able to mobilize quickly enough to help in an emergency. With some planning, they can ensure you have a plan to continue to care for your dog even if your abilities change.
Many service providers do provide paid service plans for pets – such as feeding, walking and transportation. Whichever service providers you hope to use, make sure your fridge has easy and clear direction on who to contact.
It is also important to research future housing options that are pet-friendly. Knowing where you could move if you had to make a move eliminates a lot of stress. You can find pet friendly residences in the Edmonton55 Housing Directory.
Be sure to include plans and wishes in wills and other documents to ensure legally ownership can change if you have passed away. Without documentation, the municpal pet authorities will decide what happens with your pet if you were to decease without a plan or family to take your pet.
I hope this sparks you to being creating a plan for your pet when you may not be able to provide care. An injury, a hospitalization for surgery or illness or just general aging can all be reasons you may find yourself unable to care for your pet. With proper planning, health changes doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your pet.