Most older people who have a much-loved pet could not bare the thought of being separated from them at a time in their life when they are facing the challenges of older age. 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, like reducing isolation, loneliness and boredom everything should be done to ensure you or your loved one is able to keep their pet as long as possible with all the pet care they need.
Pet care home heartbreak
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.
Compromising your health and well-being is not recommended at any time of life, but in our later years it can have detremental consquences. 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.
Pet care at home
There are many compelling benefits to receiving live-in care, as oppossed to 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 care from a professional carer who will support you to continue to have the relationship you always had with your pet. As part of the care 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.
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 and isolation
- 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
- Promotes happiness, comfort and fulfillment in life
High-quality home care for you and pet care for your pet
The Good Care Group has been providing high quality live-in care to clients across the country for over 10 years. 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. All pet care needs are covered in our comprehensive care planning process.
What our pet care covers
Dog walking and animal exercises
How and when you animals exercise will be of great importance to you as you will want to maintain the routine that meets their needs. Our professional carer will be happy to take your dog for a walk according to its routine 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 and 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 at all times.
When your much-loved dog requires a bath or needs to attend a grooming appointment our professional carer will facilitate this.
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 for live-in care?
At the heart of our live-in care is enabling people to live well in their own home with the medical care and support they need from a carefully well-matched, trained live-in carer who provides a better quality of life for those receiving care, whilst families receive a fully managed and regulated service that they can trust and rely on.
There are many other compelling benefits to receiving live-in care from The Good Care Group:
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care arrangement usually involves two carers working on a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family to ensure they are able to meet not just your care and support needs, but are closely aligned with how you wish to live your life, sharing common interests, personalities and backgrounds. In the rare situation, the match does not work out we will happily work with you and your family to find the care team that does.
Clinical care developed and supported by experts in their field
Supported by our in-house Specialist Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard and our central senior management team, many of whom are nursing professionals our professional care teams can support people with nurse-led care in the comfort of their own home. All our professional carers are qualified to manage and administer medications, and support with several complex medical interventions.
We understand that medical care can require equipment and other adaptations to the home. Our dedicated Occupational Therapist (OT), Jackie Cooper will not only liaise with doctors, district nurses and NHS OT’s and physiotherapists, she is also on hand to be able to conduct a thorough OT assessment to facilitate fast and discharge from hospital if required and will co-ordinate any requirement for equipment, so you can get home as quickly as possible to be cared for comfortable in familiar surroundings with all the care you need.
These specialists ensure our live-in carers are focused on and supported to deliver a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to caring for your loved one.
Innovating care delivery through technology
Unlike any other live-in home care provider in the UK, we have invested in creating our own market-leading technology to further enhance our service. Through the development of an online community for our clients, their families and our professional carers, we are proactive and responsive to emerging issues, whilst enabling the softer social benefits that technology brings. The secure platform is focused on ensuring our carers are equipped to effectively deliver the high-quality care our clients should expect, whilst delivering improvements in health outcomes. Our families can access important information about the care of their loved one, providing a reassuring window into the care they are receiving.
Our professional carers use a dedicated community through a Chromebook to complete daily care records, update care plans, monitor nutrition and hydration and manage medications proactively with safety features ensuring accurate administration. This allows us to effectively monitor the health outcomes of our client’s care, so we can prevent and respond to incidents and ensure the very highest quality of care is always provided. The online community also allows our professional carers to network, support each other and share best practice, whilst facilitating a connection which is so important for a remote workforce.
For families who may live some distance away from their loved one, they can access care plans, care records and a calendar of events as and when they wish, offering much-needed peace of mind. We are proud that this community offers families a transparent and immediate insight into our service. The technology also provides families with reassurance that any cash handled by our carers is being managed safely and accurately, whilst enabling them to manage practical arrangements, such as food shopping remotely. They can also connect with our other clients’ families who may well be in a similar situation as themselves, so they can share their care experiences and support one another.
Our professional carers will utilise the technology for their clients’ socialisation and enjoyment – everything from video calls with family members so they feel connected, online shopping to general web browsing.
Improving health outcomes
At The Good Care Group every decision is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Through our dedicated and committed approach to providing high quality care to our clients and the use of our market-leading digital technology, we can see significant improvements in our clients’ overall health and well-being every year.
Unique to the live-in home care market, the technology enables us to digitally monitor health outcomes allowing us to effectively predict risk and shape the care we provide. We know, for example that urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are one of the leading causes of hospital admissions for our clients, so we equip our carers with handheld testing kits to proactively monitor our clients for infections. We then benchmark our data to demonstrate how effective our care is in improving the quality of our client’s lives in the context of other types of care provision, for example care homes.
Our health measures are focused on achieving the following:
- Promoting well-being, independence and enjoyment
- Reducing behaviours that challenge through implementation of psychosocial techniques
- Reducing and eliminating antipsychotic drug use
- Promoting excellence in nutrition and hydration
- Reducing and preventing falls in the home
- Reducing hospital admissions and re-admission
- Reducing UTI’s and chest infections
- Reducing carer stress
We are proud to be transforming health outcomes for those who require live-in care. In 2019 our care teams achieved the following outcomes for those they cared for:
Unrivalled falls prevention programmes
In England alone, 30% of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year and for those 80 and over it is 50%. By comparison, only 7% of our clients aged 65 and over fell at least once, and that was only 6% for those aged 80 or over.
Our clients are seven times less likely to suffer a serious injury as a result of a fall than residents living in a residential care home. This is a result of our quality one-to-one care, which just cannot be achieved in even the very best care home, and our effective personalised falls management programmes.
Working with our in-house Occupational Therapist, we identify clients who are ‘frequent fallers’ and through an intensive and personalised approach to falls management these clients experienced 47% fewer falls from being in our care.
Reducing urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
Through enhanced training and the use of our market-leading digital technology, our professional carers can perform urinalysis tests. This means they can provide accurate and timely information to GP’s, enabling a quick diagnosis and treatment. 82% of our clients were diagnosed in 2019 using urinalysis kits, and through the introduction of testing we were able to reduce emergency interventions involving a 999 call or ambulance call out by a staggering 63%. We have also achieved a 22% reduction in overall UTI related hospital admissions.
A specialist pathway for palliative care at home
For those with a life-limiting illness or a terminal condition, most of us given the choice would wish to end our days in the comfort of our own home. However, the percentage of people in the general population who can do that is as low as 16%. By comparison, our approach to one-to-one palliative care at home has enabled 77% of our clients to pass away in the place they love most – their own home.
Effective pressure sore management
Our high-quality home care provided by dedicated and professional carers has seen a staggering reduction in pressure sores in those we care for when compared to both hospital and care home settings. Our clients are nine times less likely to acquire a pressure sore than they are in a care home and three times less likely than in hospital.
Proactive monitoring of chest infections
Our partnership with an award-winning technology provider, has seen us reduce hospital admissions for those with respiratory problems by 28%. Our carers use handheld medical devices to detect early signs of illness, such as chest infections enabling timely intervention to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
Efficient management of medications
Our digital technology is used proactively to effectively support safe administration of medications, which has seen error rates of 3% compared to a 22% error rate in care home settings.
Reducing the use of antipsychotic medication for those living with dementia
The use of antipsychotic medication to treat dementia symptoms has been increasingly challenged over the last ten years, as they have been shown to be harmful for people living with dementia and are at times prescribed unnecessarily. Through our approach to professional and specialist one-to-one care for those living with dementia, our clients are four times less likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication than residents of care homes.
Peace of mind and reassurance for families
Rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Good Care Group is the only live-in care provider in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by CQC across all five categories – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible care.
A fully managed and regulated live-in care service
Our fully managed and regulated live-in care service offers families reassurance at a time they need it most. Unlike introduction agencies who are not regulated by CQC, all our live-in carers are directly employed and managed by us. We ensure they are supervised by an experienced manager and supported by clinical experts – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Unrivalled management support
We operate nationwide with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager has as small portfolio of clients to support, providing unrivalled levels of support to, not just our clients, but our care team enabling a service that is of the very highest quality.
"All the patients and families I have recommended have received an excellent service and The Good Care Group has made significant improvements to their quality of life."