(L.F. Carver/ The Conversation) — Is home somewhere that you feel comfortable? Is it filled with memories of beloved friends and family — some of whom may be furry animals?
Researchers analyzed data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a national study of adult development and aging which recruited more than 50,000 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85. They found that over one-third of older Canadians are choosing to age with pets and that, for some people, living with pets can increase life satisfaction.
My research focuses on social justice and aging, with a special interest in the human-animal bond. I recently collaborated on a report for the federal government on seniors, aging in place and community.
When I researched community supports in Canada for this report, I discovered there is no government funding to help older adults care for pets.
This is unfortunate because the relationship between humans and non-human companions has become increasingly important to Canadians. While people and their pets may seem like a frivolous concern, people’s relationships with their pets impact wellness and health in perhaps surprising ways. (…)