The International Federation on Ageing and Bayer HealthCare Animal Health hosted a web conference on Thursday, September 25, 2014 with leading experts to announce the release of a new report Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons.
This report is the most extensive literature review to date of research undertaken in the field of companion animals and the health of older people. Encompassing published research from 1980 to 2013, it considers the impact on the physical, psychological, emotional and social health of older people, both in the community as pet owners and as residents of care facilities and other institutions to whom animals are introduced for recreational and therapeutic purposes. The economic impact of companion animals is also considered. Despite limitations and gaps in the research caused by weak project design or poorly-controlled studies, the positive indicators of improvements to the health and well-being of older people are encouraging and affirm the value of future research in this field.