Living with pets - Live-in care | The Good Care Group

How live-in care supports older people living with pets

As January is Walk Your Dog Month, it is a great way to kick-off the year by establishing healthy habits for both you and your furry companion. At The Good Care Group, our live-in care service enables older people to continue living with pets, which has many benefits for well-being and quality of life.

Living with pets can be a beneficial and enjoyable experience, but there comes a point where taking care of a pet might prove too much of a challenge.

This needn’t be the case with live-in care. You or your loved one can receive the support they need to keep living with pets – whether it’s an old companion or a new addition.

Let’s take a closer look:

Separation from a pet

Separation from a loved pet is not easy and is also more difficult if this could have been prevented. If you are considering moving into a residential care home to receive the care you require and have a pet at home currently, you will need to consider the future care arrangements for them as well. This can cause some people added stress, during an already uncertain upheaval within their lives.

Many residential care and nursing homes do not allow residents to bring their pets with them and do not include pet care within your care package.

Live-in care does provide you with the opportunity to stay in the comfort of your own home, receive the care you need and also keep your beloved pet with you. With in home pet care services, live-in carers will also help support you looking after your pet, by feeding, exercising and assisting with vet visits.

Why pets can be so beneficial to older people

Pets provide companionship, mental stimulation, exercise, a sense of daily order and moments of affection, all of which take on increasing importance as people age.

Whether you are getting out and walking the dog, or reading on the sofa while stroking the cat, pets can be the source of treasured domestic moments.

According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS), pets can have a positive effect on older people’s health and wellbeing in several ways, including:

  • Alleviating loneliness by providing companionship
  • Providing a sense of purpose and structure in daily life
  • Increasing attentiveness to self-care and nutritional needs
  • Enhancing a perception of wellbeing
  • Minimising GP visits for minor conditions
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing verbal aggression and anxiety in people with Alzheimer’s

Live-in care enables older people to continue living with pets

There might well come a time when your loved one is no longer able to care for their pet. This could be due to a deterioration in their overall condition, or as the result of a move into residential care.

In such circumstances, your loved one would be faced with a difficult decision that could have a significant emotional impact.

Live-in care can help avoid this possibility by supporting your loved one in their own home. The care team can complete any pet-care tasks your loved one is finding difficult, and take on responsibility for actions they’re no longer able to carry out.

The live-in care team can carry out the following tasks for pets:

  • Buying food, toys and other pet-care products
  • Ensuring they’re given regular food and water
  • Taking them for walks and visits to vets
  • Monitoring their safety and wellbeing
  • Grooming and washing them as needed
  • Cleaning up any mess they might make

This will give you and your loved one the assurance that their pet is being cared for to the highest possible standard, while also enabling your loved one to keep spending quality time with them.

With pets providing a host of benefits in terms of physical and emotional health, it is worth considering every option to ensure your loved one can remain with their companion.

Unlike many other forms of care, live-in care recognises these positive effects and ensures the best possible care standards for both your loved one and their pet.

Quality Live-in Care for you and your pet

Our professional live-in carers will not only provide you with quality care but will also support you to continue to provide quality care for your pet. Our professional carers can support you with:

Feeding your pets – whether your pet has a prescribed diet for health issues, or likes to be fed at a specific time, our professional live-in carers will happily help support you to continue to provide them with the dietary care they need.

Cleaning cages and litter trays

Your professional live-in carer will be able to support you with the maintenance of small animal cages and cat litter trays, to ensure your home is kept to the cleaning standard you expect. This also includes cleaning fish tanks.

Running errands

Our professional carer will ensure you have a stock of any pet supplies and that their food cupboard is adequately stocked.

Dog walking and other 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.

Top tips from our dog walking expert, Ella:

  1. Off lead walks: When allowing your dog off the lead, choose areas that are secure. Ensure your dog has reliable recall, especially when encountering other dogs. Never let your dog run up to another dog on the lead, just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean every dog is.
  2. Hydration is key: In the summer months, it’s important to keep your dog hydrated. Carry a portable dog water bottle/bowl on your walks, and avoid hot pavements. Opt for early morning or late evening walks to prevent paw burns.
  3. Personal space: When approaching other dog walkers, give them space, considering the possibility that their dog may be reactive. If both parties are open to introductions, proceed cautiously!
  4. Car safety: During car rides, be sure your dog is securely restrained either with a seat belt or in a designated car cage. In the UK, it is a legal requirement to have safety measures in place when transporting dogs.
  5. Poo bags: And finally, this one is a must – always bring poo bags!

Learn more about how live-in care can support older people living with pets by calling on the friendly team at The Good Care Group.

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Content authored by Chloe Brown 8 January 2024

Chloe is our Digital Marketing Executive, helping to support the marketing team to deliver informative campaigns via the website, search and email, aswell as managing our online reputation. She has worked for The Good Care Group since 2022 and has a degree in Marketing.

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