Most older people who have a much-loved pet could not bear the thought of being separated from them at a time in their life when they are facing the challenges of older age, which make caring for a pet more challenging. When a person needs long-term care and support many believe their only choice is to move into a residential care home. Sadly, for those with pets this can mean addressing the reality that they will be separated from their pet, as there are very few care homes that will permit a resident keeping their pet. Given there are so many widely recognised advantages to older people of having a pet, everything should be done to ensure you or your loved one is able to keep their pet as long as possible with all the support they need. At The Good Care Group we have been helping people to stay at home with their beloved pet for over 10 years. Here we explain why you should consider home care that will support your pet too, the importance of it for older people and what it includes.
Staying at home with pet care
A survey commissioned by The Live-In Care Hub in 2017 titled Better at Home, discovered that shockingly over two million people in the UK know an elderly person that had to have their cat or dog put to sleep, or be given away when they moved into a residential care or nursing home. The survey also found that 20% of elderly people would put their health at risk by refusing to go into a care home without their pet and 17.4% would pretend they were fine, so they did not have to go into a home and leave them.
Parting from a much-loved animal and moving into a residential care home means a person is likely to suffer feelings of loss, depression and anxiety as they face life without their life-long companion.
How our pets help us in older age
There are so many ways in which pets benefit people in the later years, including:
- Reduced loneliness
- Improved mental well-being and self-esteem through companionship
- Reduced boredom
- Improved mobility by being active and walking
- Regular exercise boosts the immune system making you more able to fight off infections
- Reduces stress and depression
- Promotes happiness, comfort and fulfilment in life
What is pet care?
There are many compelling benefits to receiving live-in care, and not enduring the upset and upheaval of moving into a care home to get the care and support you need. Not least that it means that you can get pet and home care from a professional carer who will support you to continue to have the relationship you always have had with your pet. As part of the live-in care service we provide, your professional carer will be happy to walk your dog, ensure your pets are groomed and feed them when required, meaning you can focus on having the quality time you want to enjoy your pet – just as you always have – without the worry or burden of caring for them if you do not feel able.
High-quality home care for you, and your pet
Our care is focused on keeping people safely and happily in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, whilst improving their overall health and well-being. Care is provided on a one-to-one basis and is highly personalised reflecting not just an individual’s care needs, but their choices, wishes and social preferences so they are able to maintain as much independence as possible and live a healthy and happy life. The care of your pets is very much part of our care planning process as they are a very important part of how you wish to live your life.
pet care tasks
Dog walking and animal exercises
Our professional carer will be happy to take your dog for a walk and if you have other animals will be happy to exercise them too.
Feeding your pets
We know through our experience of providing pet care at home, that many pets have very specific dietary requirements. Our professional carer will ensure your pets are fed and watered to meet their needs. Feeding times and dietary requirements will be included in the care plan. They will also monitor changes in dietary requirements and respond to ensure their needs are met.
Our professional carer will ensure your much-loved dog gets all the grooming they need at home. They can also facilitate your dog attending grooming appointments
If you have a pet that lives in a cage, a cat that uses a litter tray or fish in a tank our professional carer will ensure these are cleaned as required to ensure high levels of hygiene and cleanliness just as they will for your own home.
Pet supplies and food
Our professional carer will ensure you have a stock of any pet supplies and that their food cupboard is adequately stocked.
Why choose The Good Care Group?
We have been providing high quality, live-in care to families in England and Scotland for over 10 years. At the heart of our award-winning service is enabling people to live independently in their own home with an improved quality of life. Our approach to care at home means our clients can achieve improved health and well-being. For families they benefit from peace of mind and reassurance that their loved one is receiving the very best care and support.
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care service usually involves two carers working a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family. We make sure they are skilled and equipped to meet all your care and support needs. Our focus on matching means the chosen care team shares common interests and backgrounds. We know this means life is enjoyable for everyone. Your care team really gets to know you and your needs, which means you get the consistency of care.
Expertly trained carers
All our professional carers are required to complete our leading training programme before they care for our clients. Our programme has been created with leading charities and clinical experts. It goes beyond mandatory requirements in the care sector. Carers are then equipped to provide high-quality care and support for those living with specialist conditions. Our carers never stop learning new skills to further enhance the care they provide.
Continuity of care
Unlike an agency we employ our carers. This means they are committed to us, as we are to them. Carers enjoy the security of being employed, which means they stay with us longer. Those who work for agencies move around more. For families this means that you get continuity and consistency of the same care team caring for your loved one. This means high-quality care can be achieved with improved outcomes and no disruption to your loved one’s life.
In-house clinical experts
We have a dedicated team of in-house clinical experts. This includes a specialist consultant nurse, who also provides Admiral Nurse services to those living with dementia. Our management team consists of nursing professionals. They guide our carers to provide safe and effective nurse-led care at home. We also have our own in-house Occupational Therapist (OT) who works closely with healthcare professionals and our care teams. Our OT provides guidance and advice that enables people to live well in their own home with any equipment they may need. These experts lead, monitor and support our care teams to deliver best practice nurse-led care at home.
Innovative care technology
Unlike any other live-in care provider, we have our own online care community. Families, healthcare professionals and carers can access up to date information about the care being provided. It enables more effective monitoring, which means issues can be responded to efficiently. For our families it provides a reassuring window into the care their loved one is receiving. Our carers also use the online community to share ideas and support each other. It provides a vital connection which is important when remote working. Carers will use the online community so their clients can enjoy time online. This includes video calls with family, so they feel connected. Clients can use it to shop online or browse the web.
Improving health outcomes
Every decision we make is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Our digital technology allows us to predict risk and shape the care we provide. We measure health outcomes.
We want to know we are improving the quality of our clients’ lives every year.
Our health and well-being aim to reduce:
- Behaviours that challenge
- Antipsychotic drugs in dementia care
- Falls in the home
- Hospital admissions
- Readmission to hospital
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Chest infections
- Carer stress
- They aim to promote:
- Excellent nutrition and hydration
- Enjoyment in life
Highest service rating from care regulators in England and Scotland
Unlike introduction agencies we are fully regulated in England and Scotland. This means the care and support we provide is regularly inspected. We are the only dedicated live-in care provider in England to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We have achieved this rating in all five measures – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In Scotland, our service has been inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI). It has achieved the highest rating of a 6 (Excellent) for quality of care and support and 5 (very good) for staffing, management and leadership. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed service
Families benefit from our fully managed service delivered by care experts. This means you do not need to worry about supervising and managing the carer looking after your loved one. Our professional carers are supervised by an experienced care manager and supported by clinical experts. We provide this support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dedicated care manager will be on hand to support you, your loved one and our carer teams. We invest in our care management team to ensure they have enough time to give the support everyone needs. With our fully managed service, families do not have the burden of managing the care arrangement themselves. We know this means families can have peace of mind, whilst enjoying quality time with their loved one. They do not have to worry about the tasks of caring.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate throughout England and Scotland with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager local to you has only a small number of clients to support. This means they can provide higher levels of monitoring and support than other home care providers. It also means a highly personalised approach to care can be delivered.
Talk to us about your live-in care needs
Find out more about how we can help you to live well with all the pet care you need - call us today. We will help you every step of the way.