When people cannot live independently one of the immediate issues that many families face is what to do with the elderly person's pets. Pets are often an important part of their owners daily routines and their constant and unconditional love is an invaluable emotional support for people who are otherwise stressed out.
Here are some solutions for aged care.
In home care
One option is to find a carer who can visit the elderly person in their home and who are prepared to help with animal care tasks such as taking a dog for a walk or emptying the cats litter box. This can be a good solution for people who still have relatively low care needs and simply need some day to day support for independent living (and/or multiple pets), but it can be relatively pricy for people with higher level needs who may need multiple specialist carers to get the level of care that they need.
Pet friendly aged care
A growing number of aged care homes have started to realise the benefits to allowing pets to join their owners. If you live in a bigger centre and can choose from a range of centres it can be worth looking for a centre that allows you to bring pets. In most cases there will be some limitations to the types of pet allowed, such as only allowing a single small dog or cat simply because it can add to the overall work load of aged care workers in the facility.
Foster the animals with close friends and family
Finally if that is not possible then it can be a good idea to try and find carers for the pets with friends or family, or through a suitable no-kill animal shelter. By having a connection to the animals new home the owner often feels more relaxed about the transition into aged care. They can send in regular photos of the animal in their home or in some cases may even be able to bring the animal in for visits during open days or during visiting hours.
If you have a loved one who is about to move into aged care and who is worried about their pets it can be worth sitting down with various aged care providers to discuss the best options, bearing in mind overall care needs and the type of pets that need to be cared for. For more information, contact companies like Simply Helping.