Fun Decor Ideas for Independent Living Seniors with PetsFebruary 17, 2023
If you’re a senior with a pet, and you’re considering a move to a retirement community, you want a place that’s the perfect fit for both of you. Most senior living communities welcome pets with open arms; some even offer such tail-wagging amenities as dog parks, pet-walking services and grooming stations.
However, your pet home decor may need to change to work with your new senior living residence. You may be downsizing from a large house into a smaller apartment, so you won’t have the same amount of space for all the toys, beds, kennels and cat condos. You may not have a backyard, or easy access to grass — where is Fido to do his business? Not to mention another unmentionable: Where do you hide the kitty litter box?
There are lots of clever ways to decorate your independent living space so both your pet and you feel right at home, even if your new home’s footprint isn’t quite as spacious. Here are six smaller-space home decor and decoration ideas for seniors with pets.
- 1. Think vertical. Wall space can make up for a lack of floor space. Turn a horizontal wicker basket and shelf brackets into a DIY cat perch. Mount it so your kitty can curl up in it and look out the window; make sure the basket size you choose is big and sturdy enough to comfortably hold your cat.
- 2. Conceal clutter cleverly. Speaking of baskets, they’re perfect places to hide pet toys, pillows and blankets while still looking stylish. Buy a couple of larger wicker baskets with lids and place one in the living room and another in the bedroom. When guests come over, you can easily scoop and stash your pet’s chew toys, catnip mice, and blankets out of sight.
- 3. Bring the outside (somewhat) inside. If your independent living space has a balcony, add a porch potty for your pets. Real grass or artificial turf should work; check with your community first to see if they permit you to add these items. If your cat is obsessed with bird-watching, hang a clear plastic bird feeder to the outside of a large window. Suction cups will hold the feeder firmly in place.
- 4. Look for storage in the “wasted” spaces. Entryways are often overlooked areas of a residence. Use that area as a place to store everyday items like leashes, collars, dog booties and coats, and other items. Peg racks, shelves and cubbies can easily be turned into pet storage stations for your entryway.
- 5. Get a pretty kitty litter box. Yes, these exist. Some pet stores sell cat washroom benches. These are cabinets designed to look like furniture but are actually decorative litter box covers and storage. Or upgrade your cat’s litter box to a self-scooping box to help cut down on pet odors.
- 6. Make feeders do double duty. Instead of buying a large bin to hold dry dog food, buy a two-in-one elevated feeder that doubles as an extra storage unit for dog kibble.
So what if you’re making the move with an older dog or cat? How can you make your independent living space more comfortable for these senior pets?
Fortunately, there are a number of home decor options for seniors with older pets. These decoration and furnishing ideas are specifically designed to accommodate older animals who may have issues with things like mobility or continence. They’re all aimed at ensuring they can eat, drink, sleep, exercise, and use the bathroom safely and easily.
- 1. Pet stairs. If your cat or dog snuggles with you in bed at night, but can no longer jump up to join you, pet stairs are ideal. Some pet stairs easily fold to store under the bed during the day, while other options come with storage for small items like pet toys.
- 2. Heated or orthopedic pet beds. Some animals may suffer from arthritis or hip, joint, back or mobility issues as they age. Specially designed orthopedic beds provide the support they need and take pressure off stiff or painful joints. Older animals may also have health conditions that negatively affect their circulation. A heated bed can be just the remedy to increase their comfort level.
- 3. Elevated food and water stand. Older cats and dogs may benefit from elevated stands because they alleviate neck strain and improve overall digestion.
- 4. Washable potty pads. Because accidents happen with older pets, consider purchasing eco-friendly reusable pads. With subtle colors and quilting detail, the washable pads blend in with decor seamlessly and save your carpet from unsightly stains and unpleasant odors. For cats in particular, consider introducing a litter box with a zero- or lower-entry door so there’s no need for your older cat to try to jump in.
See why The Woodlands at Furman is both pup-ular and the cat’s meow
We love pets so much it’s in our name — The Woodlands at FUR-man! We welcome your animal companions because we understand pets are an important part of your family. We support pet ownership in our residential contracts, offer dog-friendly outdoor recreation areas, and provide pet care as part of our nonmedical companion service, Connections. Your pet is welcome whether you’re choosing independent living or assisted living.
Discover more about The Woodlands at Furman by scheduling your personal visit. We invite you to bring your pet with you when you visit!