Blue Cross is calling on all elderly care homes to have a clear pet policy in place, after our research found that 40 per cent of UK care homes claim to be ‘pet friendly’ but, in practice, this often isn’t clear or consistent.
Two thirds of UK older pet owners said they would be ‘devastated’ if they had to give up their pet to go into care.
Our findings reveal that not all ‘pet friendly’ care homes allow a resident to have a pet but instead may mean pets are allowed to visit, the care home has a resident pet, staff bring their pets to work or that a home contains a fish tank. With a quarter of older pet owners describing their pet as ‘family’, we are calling for a more transparent, consistent and clear approach to help pet owners make this life-changing decision.
While we understand it isn’t appropriate in all cases for pets to live with their owners in care or retirement housing, we do recommend that care homes have clear criteria on where they stand regarding residents keeping their pets and the responsibility of residents living with their pet in the home. We have produced a checklist to help care homes to create a simple, easy to understand pet policy.
I love Blackie to bits. She sleeps on my bed at night and comes into the day room with me sometimes. She is a member of my family. Marion Davies, 82
Download our checklist for care and residential homes when creating a pet policy below now.