In the realm of live in elder care, the presence of pets takes on profound significance, offering a source of joy and well-being. Many older people, living independently, find solace and purpose in their animal companions.
From paw-some pups to fin-tastic fish, pets serve as unwavering companions, available round the clock offering unconditional comfort, love, and affection. Their warmth and loyalty create an irreplaceable bond as a much-loved family member.
Chloe, our CEO’s King Charles Cavalier, fills the Access Care office with unlimited support, boosting morale, alleviating stress and provides an emotional uplift every time she potters into the office. Without fail, Chloe consistently greets the team with a vigorous wagging of her tail as she takes her gentle pitter patter around the entire office, under our desks to check her team are all accounted for and given her good morning pat!
Much like Chloe, pets introduce a sense of calm and routine into people’s lives, something that is hugely beneficial to those who require companion care. For those who suffer with health conditions or seniors who find they can’t socialise as much as they once were able to, a routine can be incredibly grounding. Pet companionship has the remarkable ability to bring happiness, laughter, and combat depression among many other benefits.
Benefits of Pets for Companion Care
Pets can provide an unlimited source of companion care and offer many other benefits, including:
Reduced stress and anxiety - Pets can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Increased physical activity - Walking the dog or playing with the cat can help to keep elderly people active and mobile.
Improved social interaction - Taking the dog for a walk at the local park can help elderly people to meet new people and socialise.
Reduced loneliness - Pets can provide companionship and love for elderly people who may live alone or have limited social interaction.
Improved mood - Pets can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of depression.
Improved cognitive function - Studies have shown that interacting with pets can help to improve cognitive function in elderly people, such as memory and attention.
However, this special relationship between owner and pet, which contributes immeasurably to the quality of life, can be overshadowed by the anxiety that plagues many seniors or those living with disabilities. The fear of what might happen to their beloved companions should they pass away, fall ill, or need to transition to residential care can be overwhelming. When a cherished pet departs, older owners are often hesitant to welcome another into their lives, fearing the inevitable separation.
Here's where The Cinnamon Trust steps in, providing solace, support, and practical assistance to address these concerns. Their mission is to relieve the anxieties and challenges, that terminally ill and older individuals, along with their pets, may face. Established in 1985 by Mrs. Averil Jarvis, The Cinnamon Trust is a specialist national charity, dedicated to saving both human sadness and animal suffering.
The charity derives its name from Mrs. Jarvis's beloved Corgi, Cinnamon, who lived to the impressive age of 17. It was fitting to name the Trust in her memory, encapsulating the enduring bond between pets and their owners.
The Cinnamon Trust: Bridging the Gap in Live In Elder Care and Their Cherished Companions
At the heart of The Cinnamon Trust's mission is the fostering of friendships with older individuals who seek our assistance. Through these friendships, they connect them with a network of over 20,000 volunteers, enabling essential care for pets when the going gets tough. They ensure that these cherished companions, who hold an irreplaceable place in their owners' lives, remain happy, healthy and well taken care of.
Nationally, The Cinnamon Trust extends its helping hand to over 150,000 people annually, serving the needs of 157,977 animals. In addition to this vital support network, they operate two home-from-home sanctuaries. None of this would be possible without the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of supporters.
So, what precisely does the Cinnamon Trust do in the realm of home care?
1. Home Care Through Volunteer Assistance: A vast network of 20,000 volunteers provides crucial, loving care for pets, ensuring they stay united with their owners. Volunteers might walk a dog for a homebound senior, foster pets when owners require hospitalisation, or handle tasks like fetching cat food or cleaning bird cages, all with unwavering dedication.
2. Fostering Volunteers: They have an established national network of fostering volunteers who open their homes to care for pets when owners need hospitalisation or at home respite care. These compassionate volunteers offer abundant love and care until owner and pet can be joyfully reunited.
3. Keeping Owners Connected: When a pet is under the trust's care, whether temporarily or long-term due to an owner's stay in a care facility, they maintain the crucial bond. If feasible, owners are kept in touch through visits, and when physical presence isn't possible, through regular photos and letters.
4. Pet Profiling: For owners who wish to plan for their pets' future well in advance, The Cinnamon Trust offers a long-term care service called Pet Profiling. This service provides peace of mind, knowing that their beloved companions will have a safe and happy future.
The Cinnamon Trust stands as a beacon of compassion in the realm of companion care for people and their cherished animal companions. This incredible charity offers copious support, fostering connections, and planning for the future to provide peace of mind to both owners and pets.
Enriching Live-in Care with Pet Companionship
If you are an older person who is considering getting a pet, or if you are a home carer for an elderly person who is considering getting a pet, there are a number of resources available to help you. These include:
The Dementia Dogs Project: This organisation harnesses the power of dogs to enable people affected by dementia to live with more confidence, independence, and joy.
Guide Dogs for the Blind: Specialising in providing guide dogs to blind and visually impaired people to support people to live actively, independently and well with sight loss.
For people who are receiving live in elderly care, having a cherished pet companion can provide additional benefits, such as:
Companionship and support - Pets can provide unlimited companion care and support for people receiving Live-in Care. A Live-in Carer can help to support the pet by walking, feeding, and taking care of pets.
Motivation to get out and about - Pets can motivate elderly people to get out and about, which can help to improve their physical and mental health.
Reduced stress - Pets can help to reduce stress by providing companionship, enrichment, and support for the live in elderly care.
Choose a pet that is suitable for the elderly person's lifestyle and needs. For example, if the elderly person is physically limited, you may want to choose a small, low-maintenance pet.
Make sure the pet is healthy and from a reputable source. You should also make sure that the pet is up-to-date on its vaccinations.
Be prepared to provide the pet with the care it needs. This includes food, water, exercise, and veterinary care.
Pet companionship can help to enrich lives and offer many benefits for live in elder care, both physically and mentally. If you are considering getting a pet for an elderly person, be sure to do your research and choose a pet that is suitable for their lifestyle and needs. With the right pet, people can enjoy many years of companionship, love, and support.
With careful consideration, you can find the perfect pet to bring joy and companionship to an older person's life, in full peace of mind knowing that Access Care and The Cinnamon Trust are here to provide support every step of the way.
Together we aim to preserve the warmth, light, and purpose that pets bring to the lives of people, ensuring that both humans and their furry friends enjoy the best quality of life together.