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Question for Department of Health

UIN HL853, tabled on 25 June 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to encourage the elderly to adopt or interact with pets, in the light of research regarding the positive impact they can have on people who suffer depression or loneliness.

Answered on

2 July 2015

Loneliness is a complex problem and affects people in many different ways and it can have a severe impact on people’s mental wellbeing. The reasons why people become socially isolated are diverse and a range of approaches may be needed to address these. In providing advice or support to people who are lonely or depressed local authorities could suggest interaction with pets but this will depend on the individual and the reasons behind their condition.