Joyful pets bring HC-One care home residents and colleagues together during National Pet MonthHC-One care homes across the UK celebrated National Pet Month in April by highlighting the benefits that a diverse range of pets brings to residents and colleagues.

HC-One care homes are honouring all the different animals that reside at (or frequently visit) the homes across England, Scotland, and Wales. HC-One has been commemorating all the joy that the animals bring to residents.

National Pet Month is a campaign run by the National Office of Animal Health – which dedicates 30-days from April 1, 2024 – to raise awareness of the importance of being a responsible pet owner.

Having a pet in care homes can offer many benefits to the elderly, including enhancing therapeutic care and providing companionship. Residents can also improve their wellbeing by engaging with pets and they can help facilitate better social interaction.

HC-One’s Lauren Court – located in Blacon, Chester – honoured a special dog and two budgies that have helped put a smile on residents’ faces. Lauren Court residents and staff showed their appreciation for Nellie, a Chihuahua, and Suni and Sky, two new budgies.

Nellie makes an immense difference every time she visits residents and colleagues at Lauren Court. Nicola Vernon, Home Manager at Lauren Court, revealed that resident, Mary Blake, was reminiscing about her pet budgies from the past.

Nicola took Mary on a trip to a local pet store to help put a smile back on the resident’s face. Mary picked out two budgies that will keep her company in Lauren Court, and Mary added that she has now been given a “sense of responsibility” again.

Nicola Vernon, Home Manager at Lauren Court, said:
“Nellie is a therapy dog who attends the home regularly, she has her own uniform and even a badge!
“Our Mary had been missing her budgies, so I took her to the local pet shop. She chose her own two budgies, named them Sky and Suni, set up their cage and I have never seen a bigger smile!”

Mary Blake, resident at Lauren Court, commented:
“I have always had budgies. I absolutely loved going to the local pet shop. Having the budgies in the home has given me a sense of responsibility again and caring for the budgies is now a key part of my daily routine.”

A new resident at HC-One’s Pytchley Court care home recently made friends with a budgie to help him settle into his new environment with ‘therapeutic’ care. Robert Hasker became a full-time resident at the Brixworth care home in January after he moved in following a stay in hospital.

Home Manager Susan Watson stepped in to help Robert gain his very own budgie friend to keep him company and brighten his days, after Robert informed care home colleagues about his lasting love of birds (especially budgies). Subsequently, ‘Fred’ the budgie became Robert’s new best friend – and he is now cherished by all other residents at the 37-bed residential, nursing and dementia care home.

Talking about the new pets at Pytchley Court, Home Manager Susan Watson said:
“Pets can be very therapeutic and have been a big part of Robert’s life, so bringing Fred in seemed a really positive way of helping Robert adapt to his new lifestyle.”

The new addition to the Brixworth care home has helped put Robert at ease in his new environment. Pytchley Court has a range of other pets living at the home including Fred, a cat called Coco and a dog called Georgie.

HC-One’s Brookdale View – located on Averill Street, Newton Heath, Manchester – honoured a special cat named Dillon who has been living in the home for several years. Brookdale View residents and colleagues showed their appreciation for Dillon, a 16-year-old Tabby cat.

Amanda Healey, Activities Co-ordinator at Brookdale View, said:
“Our residents love Dillon, he sits on residents’ beds, and residents enjoy stroking him. Dillon loves the attention he gets from residents, colleagues, and visitors. When the weather is nice, he loves to sit outside in the garden enjoying the sunshine and rolling around."

HC-One homes across England and Scotland have also been visited by ‘therapy’ ponies. HC-One Scotland’s Quayside care home in Yoker, Glasgow, arranged for residents to spend time with some Shetland ponies earlier this year.