Pet Friendly Feature: Morningside of Gallatin



Do people who move into retirement communities need to get rid of their pets? Not necessarily. At Morningside of Gallatin, pets are welcome. Their pet policy gives residents the flexibility needed to preserve cherished relationships with four-legged companions. “We all embrace the mentality that our residents are going to be happier, healthier, and enjoying better quality of life if their pets are here with them,” says Stephanie Harville, the facility’s executive director.Though residents are expected to provide basic care for their pets, staff members often support residents with tasks like taking a dog to a grooming appointment or changing a cat’s litter box. “We are all on board when it comes to helping with pets,” she notes. “Our staff works closely with families.”For Stephanie, one story in particular illustrates the passion Morningside staff members have for residents and their pets. Mr. Gentry, and his dog, Festus, moved into an assisted living apartment. Festus started having health problems and was eventually diagnosed with diabetes. “Our incredible nursing staff stepped in and created a medication administration record for Festus,” recalls Stephanie. “When the nurses went in to care for Mr. Gentry, they gave Festus his insulin shot. That says it all about our mentality here.” Occasionally, a pet-related challenge will arise but the Morningside staff almost always find a positive way to respond, Stephanie notes. Not long ago, a husband and wife moved in with their dog and cat. Family members had reservations about both animals coexisting peacefully. The couple decided that the cat needed to go, much to the chagrin of the husband who had loved the cat for years.The enterprising Morningside staff found a solution. “He’s a facility cat now,” Stephanie laughs.“Hedivides his time between my office, the TV lounge, and the library. Sometimes he even attends our staff meetings. He’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever been around and his owner comes down every day to spend time with him.”Morningside’s pet-loving staff is a point of pride. “When we interview prospective staff members, we stress how important it is that they be comfortable with the presence of pets in the facility,” saysStephanie. “We tell them ‘if you don’t like animals, you won’t be happy here.’”Morningside of Gallatin islocated at 1085 Hartsville Pike.

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