Sunday, August 31, 2014
Older Adult Dog Walking and Older Dog Ownership Rewards (Research, Video 4:32)
Walking a dog is much more than a “business” trip. It’s commonly known that dog ownership can benefit older adults in terms of physical health benefits. But dogs can also promote a sense of community and neighborhood that expands older adults’ lives socially. Dog walking serves as an ideal activity for encouraging these opportunities.
A study including random adults over the age of 50 focused on roles of dog ownership related to 1) a sense of community and 2) neighborhood-based recreational walking. The investigation was done through telephone and postal surveys. Frequent dog walkers were more likely than those not owning a dog to report a heightened sense of community and more neighborhood-based recreational walking. These older adults may benefit from these results through healthy aging.
Now, what about older dogs? Did you know that they have ageism problems, too, just like humans? Most people in the market for owning a dog ignore the older ones. Usually, they want a cute puppy or young dog, not a dog that might die within a few years. Who understands dog ageism problems better than older adults? Diane and David Pierce decided to do something about this problem by creating Senior Dogs 4 Seniors. This rescue center brings older adults and older dogs together in win-win partnerships that give dogs the homes they need while giving older adults the dog ownership benefits. In addition, Senior Dogs 4 Seniors supports those who foster and adopt dogs by providing ongoing home visits and other resources that may be needed. This video features highlights of this dynamic program.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.