Warwick local maintains connection with furry companion in aged care
When the time comes to move into residential aged care, people with pets can face a difficult decision.
“It can be hard for many people to have to leave their home and move into aged care, but having to leave a pet behind can often be a deal breaker,” Bobbie-Jo Woods, Warwick Aged Care Service Manager, said.
Kaye has been a client of Churches of Christ in Queensland for a number of years, receiving Home Care services and respite care at Warwick Aged Care Service.
“Kaye was in a position where she was eligible for residential aged care and was familiar with the residents, staff and environment of the service, but she was always ready to race out the door to see her beloved companion Bindi,” Ms Woods said.
Unable to leave her terrier behind, Churches of Christ in Queensland developed a care plan for both Kaye and Bindi after assessing the dog’s health records, temperament and wellbeing.
“Kaye and Bindi’s circumstance is not common. While we are blessed to have regular animal visitors, and we have chickens, many residents are unable to bring their pets when they move into the service. We worked closely with Kaye and her specific circumstance in allowing Bindi to join her.
“All of our in-house pets, chickens and now Bindi, require their own care plan. This entails keeping all their vaccinations up to date, regular grooming, and management of their diet and exercise,” Ms Woods said.
Having animal companions has proven to benefit people’s physical and psychological wellbeing and promotes social connections. The bond a person has to an animal is known to reduce loneliness and provide a sense of purpose.
“It's such an adjustment moving into aged care and leaving your home, and Bindi has made that transition a little bit easier for Kaye. The health benefits speak for themselves.”
Since the pair were welcomed to their new home, staff have seen the spirits lift in other residents.
“A lot of the time, the residents will reminisce about dogs they had when they were younger,” Ms Woods said.
Kaye can often be seen walking Bindi around Churches of Christ in Queensland’s Warwick Campus, enjoying the fresh air while Bindi laps up the pats from other residents and staff.
Churches of Christ is well known for its Cottage Model of Care and Positive Wellbeing Model of Care, which ensure the social, spiritual, emotional and functional aspects of a person’s life are nurtured so they can experience a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose.