As Australia faces an aging population with an unprecedented life expectancy, it is the community’s obligation to ensure seniors are offered resources to support their well-being. Studies investigating loneliness in aged-care facilities attest to the therapeutic properties of dogs for residents’ sense of well-being. Consequently, this study aimed to ascertain the effectiveness of a community-based dog lover’s initiative for the self-management of well-being among senior citizens. Our qualitative research investigated whether community gatherings including dogs would produce greater feelings of subjective well-being among senior citizens compared to community gatherings without dogs. A conventional content analysis provided support for the supposition that dogs address some of the unmet needs of senior citizens by increasing well-being. The multitude of benefits provided by this human-animal friendship undeniably merits inclusion as a community initiative aimed at improving both the well-being of our senior citizens and the health of the community at large. It is anticipated that these findings will inspire a new field within social gerontology dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond via community initiatives.
Papotto, Elisa Maria Concetta and Oliva, Jessica Lee Dr
"Paws for Thought: The Importance of Dogs in a Seniors Social Intervention,"
People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice: Vol. 2
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/paij/vol2/iss1/5