Having care at home allows people to keep their much-loved pets by their side when they need them most. National Pets Month, which is taking place throughout April this year, is a celebration of our furry, feathered and scaly friends and encourages us to consider the value of our pets and the ‘pawsitive’ impact they have on our lives.
The health benefits of companion pets are well established. Pets, for the most part, have many soothing effects on people. For elderly people, who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, sharing a home with a pet can have a significant positive impact on mental health wellbeing and many physical health advantages too.
Studies show that pets can contribute to the release of stress-reducing endorphins and lowering cortisol, the stress hormone. Having a pet sitting curled at your feet can bring a deep sense of calm, comfort and security, which helps elderly people to live in the moment rather than reflect on symptoms of illness or feelings of worry.
Pet ownership is also known to help lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure whilst studies show that pets can help reduce anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage gentle exercise and stimulate social interaction.
Of course, having a pet can also be hard work and too often older people faced with the prospect of going into residential care will be parted not only from their own home and familiar surroundings, but their beloved pets too. One of the many benefits of receiving care at home means that you do not need to make this exceedingly difficult sacrifice. Having live in care or home care visits allows you to remain in your home with the people you love and the life you are familiar with, essentially unchanged.
At Christies Care, if you have a pet, we will make this part of your personalised care plan to ensure that your pet is well-cared for too – just like Freddie here. Freddie is the pet tortoise of one of our clients, Doreen. Not only do we care for and support our clients, but their pets too – Freddie even has his own care plan!
Our recent CQC report highlighted that:
‘The staff continued to be flexible in their approach to support people with their choices. It was extremely important that staff were made aware that one person had a pet dog and that this required walks and exercise. Sometimes the person could not always provide this themselves and so it was important that the carer did this. The impact was that the person had the peace of mind knowing their dog was given this care and support.’
“This beautiful young lady as I called her, together with her precious pooch Martha” – from one of our carers.