Who would care for your pet if you weren’t around?

At the Scottish SPCA, we care for every kind of animal, including those who sadly find themselves without a home when their owner passes away.

Giving owners peace of mind that their pets will be looked after should they outlive them.

Giving owners peace of mind that their pets will be looked after should they outlive them.

We understand how important pets are to their owners and that their love, loyalty and companionship make them part of the family.

Indeed, pets are often the only family many people have. We also appreciate how incredibly upsetting it can be for people living on their own to think there is no one to care for their pet when they’re gone.

That’s why we offer our free Forever Care service. Through Forever Care we’re able to give owners peace of mind that their pets will be looked after should they outlive them.
Signing up to Forever Care means that, if the worst happens, we will look after your pet and do all we can to find them a loving new home. We’ll look after them in our rescue and rehoming centres and must stress that we never put a healthy animal to sleep.

Recently, an elderly lady who had signed up to Forever Care sadly passed away, leaving behind her jack russell terrier named Mr Tosh.

We took Mr Tosh in and looked after him until we found him a new home. We’re sure Mr Tosh’s previous owner took comfort knowing we would find someone who would love and care for her beloved pet as she had.

It’s quick and easy to sign up to Forever Care. It’s also entirely free. You don’t have to leave a donation to the Scottish SPCA.

Our information pack has everything you need to know about our service. All you have to do is complete a short form and send it back to us in the freepost envelope we’ll provide.
While we ask for the most important information about pets such as their name and their age, some owners also provide extra details, such as their pet’s nickname or favourite food. It’s great to know these things as they can help a pet settle into their new home.

We always advise anyone signing up to Forever Care to ensure their next of kin or anyone else close to them is aware of their wishes for their pet. Everyone who signs up will be sent a Forever Care card to let people know they wish to use our service.

Last year we rehomed a staggering 6,248 animals to loving homes and we have rescue and rehoming centres throughout Scotland.

We’re proud to be able to give pet owners reassurance that their animals will be okay even after they’re gone. If you’d like more information about our Forever Care service, please call 03000 999 999 (option 4) or email forever@scottishspca.org.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn
Scottish SPCA

The Scottish Older People’s Assembly 2012

SOPA Logo

Now in its fourth year, the details of the Scottish Older People’s Assembly (SOPA) have been confirmed for 2012.  The event will take place on on Friday 2 November 2012 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

The Scottish Older People’s Assembly is an annual event themed around topics of particular relevance to older people. The theme for this year’s Assembly is the older person’s experience of care, which could be in the person’s own home, a centre, hospital or care home, and the challenges, good practice examples and the importance of compassionate care.

The 2012 Assembly will also highlight issues around active ageing, preventative care that encourages older people to remain socially connected and the contribution older people themselves make in caring for others.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy) will be the keynote speaker at SOPA 2012 so this is an ideal opportunity to put the questions that matter to you to the Minister.

Embracing technology

This year’s SOPA plans to use video conferencing to build on the success of last year’s event. Video conferencing will be used with groups from local communities across Scotland, and will include presentations from older people.

SOPA 2012 will be streamed live on the day and will also be available as a webcast to view following the event. If you cannot be in Edinburgh on the day, why not make arrangements with friends or your local group to watch the Assembly live online? You can also follow the event on Twitter.

The details

The Assembly will run from 10.30am to 4.00pm with registration from 9.30am on Friday 2 November 2012. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. This is a free event but unfortunately transport and accommodation costs cannot be covered for those attending.

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre is fully accessible and close to local bus routes and train stations. See the EICC on Google Maps.

Want to attend?

The Scottish Older People’s Assembly Steering Group will arrange for invitations to be sent to older people’s groups across Scotland through their network arrangements.

If you are not part of a group but would like to attend, you can register interest by email to acfaa@edinburgh.gov.uk or by calling 0131 469 3806 / 3764. As SOPA is likely to be very popular, the event could be oversubscribed. Places will be confirmed in October 2012.

Managing later life on restricted means is a juggling act

Age Scotland’s Communications and Campaigns Manager, Lindsay Scott, discusses the recent findings of the “Living on a Low Income in Later Life” report commissioned by the Age UK family. 

Living on a low income

A new report commissioned by the Age UK family covering the situation of older people in England, Scotland and Wales, shows that older people on low, fixed incomes are typically finding life tough but are ‘coping’.

The findings demonstrate the different forms of hardship that people in later life experience, highlighting the extent of the sheer hard work required in order to get by and just how constraining living on a low income can be.

A key conclusion is that, while dire material hardship may be less common in later life than it once was, the pressures associated with living on a low income have not gone away. Material hardship is still very evident; some of the people in the study had to economise on fulfilling basic needs, for example by, in winter, only heating part of their homes for part of the day.

The findings show how a combination of poor health and poor mobility and living in more isolated areas without accessible and affordable transport or social networks can result in some people becoming more disadvantaged than others. Where people are already on a restricted income, these factors make stretching their money further that bit harder, part of the problem being that if you are only just keeping your head above water, it is hard to deal with unexpected or additional expenses.

Making ends meet

Planning finances carefully often doesn't account for emergency purchases

Someone who has planned their future outgoings carefully may find it nigh impossible to foot the bill for house repairs, to visit a sick relative at the other end of the country or to replace a broken appliance. Even where people we spoke to had a bit of ‘rainy day’ money put aside, they were reluctant to draw on it for fear of being unable to afford a more important expense in the future. Furthermore, the reluctance of many to get into any form of debt created an extra constraint.

Another issue arose where people did not always feel in control of their financial situation. In some cases, they were dependent on having things bought for them by family and friends and this made their financial comfort reliant on the goodwill of others.

Some people had done advance budgeting on the basis of a certain amount of interest on savings and when that dropped to a tenth of what it had been, found themselves with a problem. In other cases the ways in which organisations structured payments made things difficult for them, for example where their gas or electricity accounts were allowed to fall behind, causing large arrears or sudden increases in monthly payments.

Electric fire

Fuel price rises have severely affected older people's finances

What emerged right across Britain is that older people have been shaken rigid by the enormous fuel price rises we saw in the second half of last year and in combination with hikes in the costs of basic foodstuffs, those on low, fixed incomes have had the frighteners well and truly put upon them.

Finally, it is notable that for many of those who took part in this study, their limited incomes were not the most important factor in determining their quality of life. The closeness of their relationships, the quality of their local services and how they felt about their surrounding environment could often be more important.

However, this was often because they felt that they were currently ‘coping’ by paying bills on time, keeping relatively warm and buying the basics, and felt they could be philosophical about the limits to what they could buy.

Increases over the past decade in the real value of benefits, especially the Pension Credit, have undoubtedly contributed to this. The risk is that, if the buying power of incomes in later life declines, money will become more important as coping becomes ever more difficult. The most revealing fact to emerge from this study in our opinion is that many older people who are ‘getting by’ today are seriously worried that this will not last.

If you are worried about making ends meet, phone the Age Scotland Helpline – 0845  125 9732. The service is free and confidential.