Prego, Merv, Betty, Alfie, 4 dogs that have added so much to my life. Companions, reasons for exercise, sources of joy and entertainment and above all receivers and givers of unconditional love. But what happens when we need to move into care?
Clearly taking Anacondas, Crocodiles, Tigers or Lions with you may prove to be restrictive, but what about dogs, cats, hamsters etc? and what about reptile, spiders, birds or fish that live in their own tank?
The Policy on Pets as provided by Hill House Nursing Homes is that “The pet must be cared for solely by the resident or failing that the resident must make alternative arrangements for its care. The pet must be regularly de-wormed and prophylactic treatment for fleas / ticks / infestations administered. Copies of vet’s certification to verify this must be available for perusal at request.” www.hillhouse-nursinghome.co.uk/1876/.
The animal charity Blue Cross have produced a document that outlines the needs of the pet in this circumstance; https://www.bluecross.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/BlueCross_Pets_Care_Policy.pdf which we thoroughly recommend that you read, whilst despite searching in depth it is not clear what advice the RSPCA give.
Further advice can be found here. http://nursing-home-directory.co.uk/tips-and-advice.html.
The Blue Cross is calling on all elderly care homes to have a clear pet policy in place, after their research found that 40 per cent of UK care homes claim to be ‘pet friendly’ but this isn’t always the case and can be interpreted as allowing pets to visit with their owners or for “care animals” to be brought in. This resonates with me because when my In-Laws moved into their retirement home, they were told that they could take their cat with them only to find that the environment was not conducive for this, namely that access to the outside world would be via a high a balcony, meaning that Queenie would use up most of her 9 lives within the first week of moving in. Luckily, the people who bought their house were animal lovers and were delighted that Queenie was included in the sale.
Choosing a care home is an incredibly sensitive and delicate task and it is only natural that decisions are led by needs, location, cost and care provided, but at qcc.healthcare we feel that the holistic and emotional aspects need to to be included too. Giving up a home you have lived in for years is massive, giving up a pet that is loved and adored is huge as well and the impact of this can have significant influence on a person’s wellbeing. We implore people to give this the full consideration that it requires and to research in depth just how practical your choice is.
Finally, I came across this charity whilst researching this, and as tempting as it was to steal their copy and regurgitate as mine, I urge you to visit their website and read it yourself. https://cinnamon.org.uk/pet-friendly-care-homes/. We wish them every success and would be keen to promote what they do and echo their sentiment.