A survey carried out in 2017 ‘Better at Home’, discovered that over two million people in the UK know an elderly person whose pet was put to sleep or rehomed when they moved into a residential care or nursing home. The survey also found around 20% of elderly people would put their health at risk and refuse to go into a care home without their pet.
The companionship of animals can provide a valuable source of comfort and relief for people, and one of the many benefits of live-in care is that our clients can remain with their beloved pets. We recently asked our carers if they had any stories about their client’s pets that they would like to share and that’s when we heard about Casper, the dog.
One of our carers, Denise Kent, got in touch to tell us about a wonderful couple she looked after a few years ago, and their lovely springer spaniel, Casper. She said that the couple had a large garden and Casper loved playing catch. The gentleman loved his dog and enjoyed sitting in the garden watching whilst Denise played with Casper.
Denise has four rescue dogs, two of which are Spaniels, and she always misses them, so having Casper to look after was good for her mental health. She felt that they all benefitted – Casper exercised by playing in the garden and the couple were happy seeing their dog playing and exercising. Denise would often take Casper across the fields on her breaks and said he was great company, choosing to sleep in her bedroom, sometimes being naughty and trying to get on the bed!
Sadly, when the gentleman died Casper got depressed, but they got through it. Denise worried about what would happen to him when the lady passed. She said, “COVID and personal health issues ended this placement for me. I still wonder what happened.” At the same time, professional carer Angelica Stefan sent us a story about a dog at her current placement, and it turned out to be the same dog, Casper!
“All placements are special, but what makes this one particularly special is Casper. He is a 10-year-old dog, a faithful friend for my client, but mostly a wonderful partner for me in my work. “Not just once, he woke me up in the night when my client had a fall. He is present when she has visitors such as doctors or nurses, or the ambulance crew, to make sure his mum is fine. Everyone coming into the house adores him because he is just lovable. “After his dad sadly passed away three years ago, and his mum’s health declined, I took full responsibility for him, with the support of the family. We go for a walk early in the morning, before my client’s waking time, and sometimes during my break. He has a large garden for the rest of the day and I play with him between tasks. I look after him when he’s ill, I comfort him when he’s afraid of thunder or fireworks, and he is so grateful like only a dog can be.
“It wasn’t difficult for me to ‘adopt’ Casper, it actually came naturally, as I have my three dogs at home. My peer colleague learned to love and respect him as he deserves, and he became attached to her as well. “Casper is having a good life, just like any dog should have, and we are making arrangements to ensure his good life will go on, provided that he lives longer than my client. It is an honour for me to have met Casper, a joy to have him around and a pleasure to talk about him.”
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.