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Positive ageing in the company of animals

Older people, unable to take their companion animals with them when moving into aged-care accommodation, are often forced to say goodbye to their four-legged friends.

Many people who enter an aged-care facility grieve constantly and deeply for their beloved pet left behind.

Outcomes vary for the animals involved. Some are re-homed, others are surrendered to a shelter and some are euthanised.

For aged-care providers it can be a difficult policy challenge. How can facilities support the human-animal connection safely, sensitively and sustainably?

What we are doing

Australia CAN is working with aged care experts to find ways of preserving the bond between people and pets in aged care accommodation.

Solutions are available, with good models already operating in Australia and beyond. With pets raising our happiness quotient and health grades, making it easier for people of all ages and stages to keep pets makes good sense.

Just 18% of aged care facilities consider allowing residents to keep a pet

Gail Munro has been successful in finding aged care accommodation that welcomes her dog Timothy. Read Gail’s story Gail and Timothy, Happy Together

How are we doing this?

We have created the website Positive Ageing in the Company of Animals a resource for older persons with pets that promotes and shares pet-friendly policies and provides information for the aged care sector.

How can you help?

  • Share your experiences and information with us: info@australiacan.org.au
  • Raise the topic with politicians in your state: click here for the list
  • Let aged care providers know you prefer accommodation that allows your pet to stay with you
  • Indicate you will be happier and healthier for longer with your pet by your side – you are likely to cost your aged-care provider less in on-going care services.

Further resources

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