Midlands care provider supports call for clearer pet policies

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The Chief Executive of Shropshire’s leading not-for-profit care provider has welcomed a call for more residential homes to implement a pet policy to make the transition into care an easier process for older people.

David Coull from Coverage Care says he supported the campaign by the charity Blue Cross for all care homes for elderly people to have a specific pet policy.

Blue Cross says its 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.

The charity is recommending 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.

Coverage Care runs 14 residential and nursing homes across Shropshire in Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Wellington, Whitchurch, Bridgnorth, Bishops Castle, Newport and Market Drayton.

At Briarfields in Shrewsbury, the home has two resident cats Kirby and Leia who share the building with residents.

Manager Denise Morris said: “We have had Cats Protection visit the home for some time which the residents really enjoyed so we thought we would have our own pets. The two girls have settled in very well and are real characters.”

At Bridgnorth’s Innage Grange when resident Marjorie moved in she brought her cat Stacey with her as did Mel with her dog Rosie. At Farcroft in Wellington, resident Edna arrived with her two budgies Billy and Bobby that she cares for.

Mr Coull said a transparent policy would make moving into care easier for people who don’t want to part with their pets.

“Moving into care is a life-changing decision and it can be stressful so anything that can allow it to be a smooth transition should be welcomed. It would make it easier for people to choose the best place for them to live if every care home had a clearly stated policy.

“We are happy to accept pets in our homes under most circumstances and work with potential residents so, wherever possible, they can bring their animals with them and they know what we expect from them in terms of their responsibilities as pet owners and neighbours.

“We value the difference that keeping their pet with them makes to the lives of our residents,” he added.

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