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New study show pets give people a reason to live

New study show pets give people a reason to live

Researchers from the University of South Australia have found that pets can help prevent suicide among people over 60 years with the presence of a dog, cat or budgerigar often enough to stop someone taking their life.

New study show pets give people a reason to live

“Pets offer a counter to many older people’s sense of uselessness,” says health sciences lecturer Dr Young.

The new findings, published in the journal Anthrozoos show one third of respondents interviewed for the study reported that they were “actively suicidal” or “significantly traumatised” but their pets gave them a reason to live.

“Animals need looking after which creates a sense of purpose for older people and they also promote social connections with other people.”

Dr Young said the findings showed the dearth of pet accommodation in Australian aged care should be re-examined as nursing homes and even aged care villages currently banned cats, dogs, birds or reptiles.

The data also supported Dr Young’s plan to introduce a new model to an aged care facility in Adelaide, South Australia where residents and staff were able to foster pets, particularly supporting elderly people having to move into care or hospital.

“And what I’m pursuing is for people to not only be able to get animals and pets just visiting them in aged care facilities but for people to be able to take their own pets into aged care with them.”

 

Anyone who may be feeling distressed can contact the following organisations for support –

New Zealand:

Lifeline 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 or text 4202

Youthline 0800 376 633

Australia:

SANE Helpline 1800 18 72 63

Lifeline 131 114

Beyond blue 1300 22 4636

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