Loneliness in Old Age

Loneliness in Old Age

Loneliness in Old Age: Could a Pet Help?

Loneliness is one of the things that elderly people often suffer from. Sometimes elderly people are unable to get out of the house due to mobility issues, or they may not have any friends living nearby. And even if you make the effort to visit them regularly, they may still get lonely.

A pet can often be a great solution to loneliness because it can provide wonderful companionship. But there are a number of things to consider before you get a pet.

Benefits of Having a Pet

One of the main reasons to get a pet is for the companionship it provides. Simply having a pet around can help to reduce loneliness and the simple act of stroking a cat or dog can also relieve stress. If you get a dog, this can also become a good source of activity for your elderly relative. Grooming, going for walks and playing at home can all help to keep your relative active.

A pet can also provide elderly people with a sense of purpose. Suddenly they are caring for the pet, rather than simply being cared for by other people, and this can be a good boost to their confidence and self-esteem.

Can Your Elderly Relative Look After a Pet?

Even though they may like the idea of having a pet, your relative may not be capable of looking after one alone – especially a dog. Dogs can provide excellent companionship, but they also require a lot of work, whereas cats often require less work. It really depends on their situation, so have at think about how realistic the prospect is before making any decisions.

Care Workers Could Help Care for the Pet

If your relative really likes the idea of having a pet, but you don’t think they can look after one yourself, this could be something your care worker can help with. Care workers can help to feed pets and they could accompany your relative walking their dog to make things easier.

Other Pet Help

You could also hire a dog walker to help out, or a pet sitter if your relative has to go to hospital or will be away for a long time. You may want to commit to walking the dog or grooming it yourself, and you may have to help to take it to the vet. You may also have to provide financial support.

Consider a Rescue Dog or Cat

One option could be to get a rescue dog or cat. These animals are in need of love and care, and you can also find out exactly what their temperament is beforehand so you can find a pet that is more suitable for your relative. This also takes out some of the work of looking after puppies and kittens.

Get Assistance from The Cinnamon Trust

The Cinnamon Trust is a UK charity dedicated to helping elderly people and their pets. It has 15,000 community service volunteers all over the UK, providing practical help for walking dogs and other issues. It even has a fostering service when owners have to spend time in hospital, and it provides care should the owner pass away. Contact them for any advice you need before making your decision.

A Pet Can Be a Wonderful Idea

Bring up the idea of getting a pet with your elderly relative if you think it could be a good option for them. Or perhaps your relative has already mentioned getting a dog or cat. Think practically about it, and go over the pros and cons to decide whether it really is the best option. But if you think it can work for you, it can be a great help.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.