- Plan ahead! You can’t start finding out about
care options too early. Many people have stayed independent
longer by making small changes to their lifestyle at an
- Talk to several care agencies before choosing one. Much
depends on a successful relationship with the manager
you get on with best.
- Moving to a care home doesn’t have to be permanent.
Some people just need a break to recover their health,
and then return home.
- Speak to experts. Help is there if you know where to
look on all aspects of choosing care. Professional advice
can save time, money and stress.
- Make choosing care a family decision, but remember the
final choice should be with the person needing care wherever
- Work out your budget before setting out to choose care.
Many older people have pets. They can be a vital part of
older people’s lives and well-being.
Pets can provide both physical and psychological benefits
to an older person by:
- Providing companionship and loyalty
- Alleviating loneliness and depression
- Reducing stress
- Giving stability of daily routine
- Giving an older person a reason to remain independent
for as long as possible
When an older person is vulnerable and their own frailty
causes them to move into a care home environment, they may
face the needless anguish of becoming separated from their
Many care homes recognise the benefits of older people
owning pets and as a result accept residents’ pets
into the home.
Taking a pet into a care home may assist by:
- Helping the older person to feel more settled and “at
- Helping to adjust to a new routine
- Enabling the older person to retain links with their
- Giving the resident some sense of independence
Many care homes allow pets to visit or they may have a
resident cat or dog. However, although residents will enjoy
these pets, they cannot replace the special relationship
an older person will have will their own pet.
Care homes that do accept residents’ pets may have
certain conditions. For example the home may only be able
to accept a pet as long as:
- The older person is able to care for the pet –
walk a dog or clean out a birdcage
- The pet is not too large
- The pet is not disruptive or cause nuisance to other
- The older person takes responsibility for the cost
of pet food, vets bills etc.
These requirements will vary according to the Home Manager
and staff attitude towards pets.
Organisations such as The Cinnamon Trust, which is a national
charity for older people and their pets, have a register
of care homes, care homes with nursing and sheltered accommodation which accept pets.
Whilst lists of homes which accept pets are useful, please
bear in mind that it is important to take the best independent
care advice in order to find an appropriate care home, which
primarily meets the older person’s care, social, geographical
and financial requirements. People sometimes move into care
homes just because they accept pets, ignoring their own
very important care needs.
Age Concern – 0208 679 8000
For advice and information on a wide range of issues concerning
Alzheimer’s Society Help line – 0845 300 0336
For information, advice and local support services for those
caring for someone with dementia.
Association of Independent Care Advisers (AICA) – 01483 203066
Represents member organizations around the country that
are helping people decide on the best choice of care. The
Association can put you in touch with Care Advisers in your
Benefits Enquiry Line – Free phone 0800 882200
For information and advice on all benefits for the disabled or elderly and their carers
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)- 0870 443 5252
A charitable organisation, which has set nationally recognised standards. Members abide by a Code of Ethics and Practice.
British Red Cross Society
Local centres available throughout the country. Services
include care at home, transport, holidays respite care and
equipment loan for elderly people.
Department of Health
Legislation and guidance from the UK Government and the NHS
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland
Information on health and personal social services.
Disability Information Advice Line – 01302 310 123
Disabled Living Foundation Help line – 0870 603 9177
For advice on equipment for independent living. Product
and supplier information can be given.
Help The Aged
Charity committed to addressing the issues that matter to older people.
Parkinson’s Disease Society Help line – 0808 800 0303
Provides support and information for people with Parkinson’s
Disease and their relatives.
Public Trust Office – 0207 664 7327
or 0845 330 2900
Provide guidance on Enduring Power of Attorney and Court
Royal National Association for the Blind (RNIB)
Help line – 08457 669999
Provides information and support for anyone with serious
Royal National Association for Deaf People (RNID)
Help line – 0808 808 0123
Provides information, interpreting service, special telephone
service and environmental aids.
Rukba is a national charity that helps older people in need to remain independent. They can provide nursing and residential care and help with fees.
Information from the Scottish Executive on Health and Community Care
The Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body which is exclusively
responsible for the inspection, monitoring and regulation of health
and social care in England.
The Stroke Association Help line – 0845 303 3100
National Charity, which provides an advisery service for
people who have had strokes and their families.
Welsh Assembly Government
Information about the Welsh Assembly Government’s Health,
Social Care and Wellbeing.
If you require further assistance or would like to speak to the Independent Care Adviser this site recommends please call 0800 137 669 or complete the e-mail enquiry form.