Moving an elderly relative to a care home can be a difficult decision for the whole family. They may be moving from a home where they have spent many years of their life, full of memories and away from friends in their local area. This decision is not an easy one to make, and often it is made worse when they find out that the care home they are heading to will not allow them to bring their beloved pets with them.
This problem has recently gained some media attention and there are MPs and charities around the UK advocating for guarantees that pet owners are not split up from their pets during these tough times. What we do know for now is that some care homes do accept pets and others do not. When picking a care home, either for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, if keeping your pets closeby is important then there are plenty of options available.
There are some things to be aware of when choosing a pet friendly care home. Many care homes may advertise themselves a ‘pet friendly,’ however, this could mean only that pets are allowed to visit, but can’t be kept for longer periods of time with an owner. If you are unsure about exactly what the care home you are considering means by ‘pet friendly’ the easiest thing to do is to call up and double check, or arrange a viewing and to meet with the staff before you proceed any further.
Viewing a care home before you commit to moving is beneficial for many reasons. It’s a great opportunity to meet other residents, to get to know the people working there, and if you’re bringing a pet, a good chance to see the environment they will be living in too. It’s important to understand how the other residents feel about pets in the common spaces, whether there are already residents with pets, and whether they will have a garden to play around in.
Care Homes Devon with Eastleigh Care Homes and other similar places allow residents to bring their pets with them and have the infrastructure in place to ensure both owner and animals are comfortable in their care. These include providing a suitable diet for the animals, a safe and comfortable living environment, the ability to exhibit natural behaviours, such as being free to go outside, the freedom to be housed with or without other animals as preferred, and protection from any pain or suffering.
Furthermore, there are charities dedicated to supporting owners and pets transitioning to living in care homes. These include Blue Cross and Cinnamon Trust, who work tirelessly to make sure many care homes are following their advised rules for clarity for pet owners. They also work with care homes to offer appropriate support if owners suffer from the bereavement of their pet.