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For many elderly people, a beloved pet represents their most cherished companion, which is why parting ways when moving into a care home can be a hugely stressful and often traumatic experience.
Thankfully, quite a lot of residential care homes do accept pets, allowing you and your furry friend to remain together. The question then, is how do you go about finding these pet-friendly care homes.
In this article, we’ve looked at whether or not you can take pets into a care home, the positive benefits of pets for elderly people and how to find a pet-friendly home.
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While some care homes are unable to accept pets for health and safety reasons, many residential care homes across the UK are welcoming of new residents bringing their pets!
Your pet will either be able to live with you or in the home’s garden (depending on what kind of animal it is).
When residents who are pet owners move into a care home, a support plan is usually agreed with the pet(s) in mind.
This will include a plan for what would happen if you become too ill to care for your pet. In this case, alternative arrangements would be drawn up and carried out (such as the pet being rehoused with a charity or a family member/friend).
The Cinnamon Trust is a charity that helps elderly people with the care of their pets. With this in mind, they’ve compiled a national register of care homes and retirement villages in the UK that are pet-friendly.
A little over 50% of care homes in the UK describe themselves as pet-friendly, so you shouldn’t have to look for too long to find one that fits the bill!
The staff at your care home will likely support you with feeding, exercising, grooming and cleaning your pet. Depending on your needs, they’ll either do this for you or assist you in doing it yourself.
Another important task that care home staff can help out with is taking your pet to the vet and administering any medication that it needs. Before moving into a care home, you can discuss with the manager how your new home will support you in taking care of your pet.
Many charities will look after your pets if they aren’t able to stay with you in a care home. Similarly, there may be a family member or friend who is willing to look after your pet for you. Depending on how much time they have spare, they can then bring your furry friend in for regular visits.
Again, even if pets aren’t allowed to permanently live there, many care homes will still grant permission for pets to make visits. In this case, it might be worth trying to get a family member, friend or volunteer from a local charity to look after your pet and have it regularly visit you.
Lottie matches care seekers with the best care homes for their needs. You can request a free care home shortlist from our care experts, who will share homes matching your budget, location and type of care needed. You can also search for a care home through our easy-to-use directory.