1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Lancashirelady

    Lancashirelady Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    110
    Mum seems to be fairly settled in her care home but still craves attention. My uncle has tried taking in one of his miniature schnauzer dogs to keep her and the other residents entertained but was told by the staff that the dog could only be in her room. I was under the impression that pets could have a real positive benefit - and the daughter of one of the other residents practically begged my uncle to let her mum pat the dog, which is small and very affectionate. Has anyone else any experience of taking pets into a home?
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,501
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Dogs were welcome in my husband's home and I often took our dog there. The residents loved to see her. They also had a PAT dog which belonged to one of the carers and she visited at least twice a week, going round the whole home.
    It is a shame not to welcome dogs as they can bring so much pleasure and comfort.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    I took my dog, Billy, to see my Husband almost everyday for 18 months (later joined by Cindy). The residents loved them. They were such a huge hit that the CH stopped the visits by the 'entertainment' dog. Ok, it saved them money but Billy and Cindy were well loved and could roam freely.
     
  4. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    I can understand the worries of the staff. Some residents and their visitors may be allergic to dogs, some frightened by them and some so behaviorally challenged they'll provoke the nicest, kindest dog to snap (or may even harm it).

    If the staff know in advance that dogs are coming to the home then they can plan to avoid potential problems - if they don't, they can't.

    My Mum's home has PAT dogs visiting - they brighten her day. I think the Home also allow pets to visit the rooms of their owners but I'm not sure about this.
     
  5. MollyD

    MollyD Registered User

    Mar 27, 2016
    1,696
    Ireland
    Such a shame and loss to residents.

    I adopted a little rescue JRT 8 weeks before mum was due to come home. Family were a bit "uh oh, how will mother take to this?" Well they aren't the ones with mum day in day out so I followed a deeply gut sense it was the right thing to do. She was a surrender dog and had been with elderly owners, and when one died the other couldn't manage walking her. Very sad.

    I fostered her for a week to see how we'd get on alone together.

    Upshot. She is a gentle alternating with mad little joy in an otherwise grim situation. My mother who adamantly stated she doesn't like dogs has responded with more animation and pleasure towards her than to anything else in her current life...bar chocolate :).

    Dogs read people and situations well when they feel secure and loved with clear boundaries. They give and thrive on affection and bonding.

    My little dog is a life saver for me as well as a life enhancer mum.

    I hope the home reconsiders.
     
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,631
    Female
    London
    Allergies, fears - it's all just an excuse. They are hiding behind regulations in order not to have more work and thereby deny their residents what is undoubtedly therapeutic for them. They should know which of their residents have behavioural problems or allergies. They can then act accordingly. It's not like the OP had entered with five vicious Pitbulls in tow - we're talking about a mini schnauzer! At Revitalise Centres animals are often brought in for the entertainment of the guests, and to date no one's ever asked us about potential allergies. This home needs educating as to the benefits of pet therapy.
     
  7. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,741
    Salford
    Sorry to all you dog lovers (and I'm a dog lover too) but I side with the home, no dogs unless they specifically trained to deal with unpredictable attention from people.
    I don't know that it's hiding behind "health & safety" to avoid work and OK in this case the dog is a miniature schnauzer, however, I think a dogs in residents rooms only sounds fair enough to me.
    Put's on tin hat for the incoming flack:)
    K
     
  8. MollyD

    MollyD Registered User

    Mar 27, 2016
    1,696
    Ireland
    Hee hee. *Throws a soft doughnut at tin hat* but takes your point on board. It does need regulation.
     
  9. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    When I was looking for care homes for my husband, one of the first questions I asked before I even looked at it seriously was if dogs were allowed to visit. Our dog is so important to my husband and I was not going to deprive him of his dog as well as his freedom.

    The home also has visiting PAT dogs, miniature ponies, rabbits, reptiles and birds of prey. All are allowed in the lounges as well as residents rooms. I take my dog in on nearly every visit, and most of the residents faces light up when she comes in. No one has been ill or objected to any of these animals coming in. My mother's care home had 2 resident cats, and I think some homes allow residents to keep a cat.

    Of course my dog is on a lead at all times in the home, and under my supervision, but I do let her off in the garden and we play ball with her.

    I think its probably no good trying to change the policy of the care home, but I think its a great shame that they do not allow residents or relatives dogs to visit or even PAT dogs, as it gives such pleasure, and has been proven to be very theraputic.
     
  10. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    325
    My mum isn't a dog lover (she had a succession of Siamese cats) but she was very fond of my Italian Greyhound. She was initially sectioned, and then we needed to find a care home (everything happened very quickly). My mum was suffering from horrible hallucinations and delusions. One of the less frightening of these (which is saying something) was that I, her daughter - and my husband, had been killed and replaced by imposters. It was only when we visited her in the care home with our dog that my mum realised we were the real thing, and she kept apologising to us and everybody else for being mistaken. It was as if she could relate to the dog in the way she always had, but wasn't able to do that with human relationships. We have our dog on his usual short lead, and I can't imagine a situation where we'd allow him to get close enough to other residents in order to cause them problems.
     
  11. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    325
    #11 theunknown, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
    Just to add, it makes me laugh in response to tigerlady's post to picture miniature ponies, reptiles and birds of prey in residents' rooms :eek:
     
  12. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,631
    Female
    London
    #12 Beate, Mar 28, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
    I remember the animals they brought to the Revitalise Centre were very varied - we stroked rabbits, skunks, chickens, and I still have a photo of OH with a snake curled around his neck. :eek:
    Btw, there are dogs specifically for people with dog allergies. I can't remember the breed but they are available and could be taken into care homes too.
     
  13. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    I perhaps should have said that the visiting ponies, reptiles and birds of prey are usually just in the lounges :D
     
  14. MollyD

    MollyD Registered User

    Mar 27, 2016
    1,696
    Ireland
    lol

    A snake in the bed might be a step too far alright. :p
     
  15. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    I was just imagining the horses being left to roam about and popping upstairs and scaring people senseless popping their heads round doors and neighing.
    (So sorry but this had me crying laughing)
     
  16. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    325
    Thanks for putting this picture in my head susy :D but what if it was a Eurasian eagle owl settled in, wondering when his pal the donkey was going to pop in for a chat :)
     
  17. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    :D susy
    My dad isn't in a home , but connects so well with our lab. She has always known dad in his dementia state , we were at mums today when he was at day care , she lay by his seat knowing he wasnt there, someone was missing. Always greets him gently and follows him as if guiding him round their house.
    Her in a care home however with leftover food :O
     
  18. liz56

    liz56 Registered User

    Feb 15, 2015
    34
    North Somerset
    Dad , in his CH, solemnly informed us that 'the trouble with this place is they don't take any notice of the reindeer'
    We have no idea what he meant, and as far as we know there are no reindeer in residents room, lounges , or even in the garden !
     
  19. MollyD

    MollyD Registered User

    Mar 27, 2016
    1,696
    Ireland
  20. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.