Canine Companionship for Older People.
It has long been recognised that dogs bring companionship to individuals, but they also bring people together. This is particularly important for elderly people, who often feel lonely and isolated. In this Holidays4Dogs article, we focus on Care Dogs, an organisation in south London. The charity aims to tackle social isolation and loneliness among older people.
The ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ organization state that there are 1.2 million older people in the UK who are totally alone on a daily basis. They say this isn’t just an emotional problem, but one that affects people’s health in much more profound ways. The group claim that chronic social isolation can be as harmful as obesity and can often lead to premature death.
The initiative ‘Care Dogs‘ seeks to address this problem and help people to feel less isolated, by linking up older people with volunteer dog owners for visits and walkies.
Care Dogs was founded in 2018 by Delphine Chui, a former journalist. Delphine was concerned a growing number of older people affected by isolation in her community – especially those over 55 years of age. The scheme is also in tribute to her own family rescue dogs; Ricko, Darcy and Dora.
Delphine was born in Croydon, from a multicultural household and recognised the importance of how dogs can bind communities together. She believes this is particularly important among a growing population of older people. However, Delphine also recognises that loneliness occurs within all age groups. Therefore, the scheme is for everyone from all backgrounds and ages. As Delphine explains;
“By bringing together older people and a diverse network of volunteers, Care Dogs aims to bridge the generational divide and enable opportunities for mutual support and friendship between people of all backgrounds and ages, from 18 to 88 and beyond!”
As a result, Care Dogs addresses isolation for individuals, but also encourages people to become active members within their communities. As the UK population ages, so the population of older people grows, meaning there has been a subsequent increase in the number of people experiencing loneliness, as well as isolation.
Care Dogs also recognises that not everyone has the lifestyle to have a dog full time and can benefit from weekly visits.
At Holidays4Dogs we understand this predicament too. If you are looking for canine companionship on a more regular, but part-time basis, how about becoming a carer for Holidays4Dogs?
We welcome retired people onto our team of UK-wide dedicated dog carers. We take care of everything, from insurance to paperwork. All you need to do is sit back and welcome dogs into your home for their holidays, at times to suit you.