Letter to the Editor - Pets and Aged Care

The following message was sent to the editor of The Advertiser:

Dear Editor

The RSPCA and the Animal Welfare League (AWL) are right (24/10/123): where possible, those entering aged accommodation should take their furred and feathered friends with them.

This month, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the report Depression in residential aged care 2008-2012. Just over half of all permanent aged-care residents have symptoms of depression. This is cause for national concern.

The factors contributing to this depression are complex, and no one approach is the silver bullet.

But we do know from a growing body of scientific and anecdotal evidence that older people's health - and in particular their mental health - declines when they are separated from their beloved companion animals.

Many of the state's aged accommodation facilities are leaders in this field - they already allow pets. Broadening the number of pet-friendly facilities, within the parameters of sound management, can only be good for everyone's health and happiness.

Rosetta Rosa
General Manager
Council on the Ageing SA