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Health 312 views Aug 15, 2019
Dealing with Pets as a Live-in Carer

A live-in carer must undertake many different tasks as part of their job and one of these is helping to take care of an elderly patient’s pets.

If you are thinking about homecare or live-in carer as a career it may surprise you to learn that one of your jobs will be to look after your patient’s pet. If you are a pet owner yourself or a keen animal lover then this won’t be too onerous a task but if you’ve never had to take care of an animal before what can you expect? You can find out more at the Live-in Care Hub (www.liveincarehub.co.uk) but in the meantime here are a few pointers.

 

Pets can be family members too

Whether a budgie, fish, cat or dog, a pet is often a much loved and cherished part of the family and may have been with the family, or the person you are caring for, a long time. As such they deserve to be cared for with the same dedication that the owner would show as the presence of a loved and familiar pet can be of enormous comfort to its owner especially when everything appears to be changing in their life – such as their care.

 

The benefits that the companionship of an animal brings to elderly people in general is well documented and there are numerous care institutions which now allow visiting animals, often dogs but sometimes other creatures, to be brought into homes where older people can enjoy their company for a while. The sight of a dog snoozing at the feet of an elderly resident aids relaxation and calmness and can really help improve the quality of life of a person.

 

Owning a pet can be particularly beneficial for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The familiarity of a feeding, grooming or walking routine can help to calm agitated minds and combat loneliness and depression. A friendly animal can also help a distressed person to engage in cases where they are unable to do so around people.

 

Get extra help where needed

Most pets are exactly like humans in that they thrive on a regular routine, appropriate exercise and companionship. When you start to care for an elderly person make a good start by making friends with their pet wherever possible and ask about feeding, cleaning and exercise schedules. Any veterinary medications that are needed should be noted and administered correctly. Where a dog is involved it will need daily walks to maintain good health so walking time should be factored into your daily routine.

 

Sometimes though, with the best will in the world it can be difficult to give adequate time and attention to a pet if your elderly patient is especially demanding or has complex needs. In these cases you should reach out to others who can help, perhaps the patient’s family or friends. Or enquire in the local area about respite or temporary pet sitting or dog walking services; many pet sitters care for all different animals.


Tags: #live-in care