May 10, 2023
Stigma about Seniors and Pets: How Can We Encourage and Support Older Pet Parents?
We know there are significant health benefits to sharing your home with a pet. So why don’t more older people have a companion animal? This week, we explore the possible stigma and biases faced by seniors who could benefit from pet ownership. Viewfinders, this is a good one!
Hosts Dr. Ernie Ward and Beckie Mossor, RVT, tackle a tough topic rarely talked about: the fears, concerns, and even biases faced by older people considering adding a new pet into their home. Many of these perceived risks and fears may be unfounded, yet they serve as a real barrier to pet ownership by many.
Beckie begins by stating the obvious: many seniors fear what would happen to a pet if they died. Our hosts review some of the solutions to these worries and question how often it becomes a matter of relinquishment.
Dr. Ward shares some of his clinical experiences dealing with older clients considering a new pet and reveals how his own implicit biases may have influenced certain decisions.
Viewfinders, this is an important topic that we believe needs more attention from veterinary professionals. If you have ideas or resources, share them on our Facebook, Instagram, or email us at email@example.com
Book Dr. Ward recommended:
Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World
By Rona Maynard
Canadian organizations mentioned in this podcast:
“Pawds” in seven Canadian provinces offer an array of free services (walking, brushing, pet food delivery, transportation to the vet or groomer) and urgent care (care for a hospital stay); and ElderDog will re-home senior dogs. To be assured of a loving home for any dog you can no longer care for, Canadians can register with their long-term care program. elderdog.ca
MY GRANDFATHER’S CAT
Serving seniors facing terminal illness or a move to assisted living, this Canadian charity arranges homes for both cats and dogs. The goal: keeping the pet with its human until the very last day. Free. mygrandfatherscat.ca