Moving your loved one into a nursing home can be an upsetting time. It is usually because their needs have become too great to stay at home. If they have a pet such as a dog or a cat, then this can also pose a challenge. Nursing home contracts will tell you whether they can have an animal there, but generally, this is not allowed. Although there are some pet-friendly homes so you should explore this option. If this is not an option, then you should at least be able to visit with a pet. Most nursing homes will allow you to visit with a pet, but not all, so this is something which you may need to ask about.
Elderly people are often very connected to their pets, as they have provided much-needed companionship and affection. For this reason, elderly people with pets often opt to have care from the comfort of their own homes. Live-in care is increasingly popular. However, it can be expensive and sometimes elderly people require 24-hour care, which could make live-in care impossible unless there are multiple carers. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary for people to leave their pets and move into a home.
The best thing would be if another family member could take over looking after the animal. This way everyone can be assured that they will be well looked after. Furthermore, they can then bring the pet into the nursing home for visits or your elderly relative may be able to visit the home with the pet occasionally. Many people with pets refuse to go into a home if it means leaving their pets. Having a family member who is willing to take in the animal will relieve a lot of stress and anxiety over moving into the home.
If none of these options are possible then you may be able to explain your story on social media channels and see if there is anyone who can the animals in. You can then try and keep in contact with the person who cares for them and ask for photos and updates that you can share with your elderly relative. If it is someone you know you may even still be able to take the pet to see your loved one in the home occasionally.
If this does not work, then the only thing left might be to take the pet to a shelter. You can also ask the shelter for updates and photographs which you can share with your elderly relative to help put them at ease.
There is no easy answer to the difficulties of looking after pets after their owner has moved into a home. Explore your options and keep your elderly relatives involved in the decisions. They should feel that they still have some control over what happens. This is important to uphold their dignity and show them respect. You can only do your best and your loved one will appreciate you for it.