Animals, Aging, and the Aged

Animals, Aging, and the Aged

LEO K. BUSTAD
Copyright Date: 1980
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 248
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttt4cw
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  • Book Info
    Animals, Aging, and the Aged
    Book Description:

    This volume explores the significant contributions of animals to our understanding of aging, to improving geriatric medicine, and to providing companionship and assistance to the elderly. Leo L. Bustad discusses what can be learned from animal life-span studies about the process of aging, including the problems of cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and age-related mental conditions. The results of these studies suggest that changes in life-style -- especially the diet -- may modify the effects of chronic degenerative diseases. Other studies show that caring for a pet can contribute greatly to the health and well-being of the elderly. Bustad surveys experiments using animals in therapy and he presents, for the first time, evaluative instruments for choosing the appropriate pet. Companion animals allow many elderly people to maintain their independence. Animals are also helpful as aids for those with visual, hearing, and physical impairments. An appendix lists agencies that train dogs as aids to the physically impaired. Animals, Aging, and the Aged is a thoughtful discussion of the physical, psychological, and social problems faced by the elderly, with emphasis on the ways that animals have contributed to the solution of some of those problems. As such, it will be useful for those involved in geriatric medicine and social work and in veterinary medicine and research. This book is volume 5 in the series Wesley W. Spink Lectures in Comparative Medicine.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6174-9
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. FOREWORD Geriatric Education and Training
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Robert N. Butler

    The study of aging is not simply the study of decline and dysfunction or of disease and disability; it is the study of the normal processes of development. Because of the growing population in this country of people over 65—an estimated 31 million by the year 2000—the subject of aging is getting increased attention. We face a great challenge today, that of extending the active, creative, productive, and healthy middle years of the life cycle. To meet this challenge we must strive to change negative attitudes toward old age and overcome stereotypes many people have about the elderly;...

  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Leo K. Bustad
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xv-2)

    This book is a modified expansion of the 1979 Wesley Spink lectures given at the Duluth, Minneapolis, and St. Paul campuses of the University of Minnesota on Animal Contributions to Understanding Aging, Geriatric Medicine, and The Elderly.

    Unfortunately, most definitions and descriptions of aging carry negative connotations. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1961) defines aging as “to become old, to show or impart the characteristics of increasing age as weakness, maturity, or crystalline or chemical change.” Shakespeare’s words inAs You Like Itare more poignant, and certainly more negative

    Last scene of all,

    That ends this strange eventful history,...

  6. Chapter 1 PERSPECTIVES ON ANIMALS
    (pp. 3-11)

    In 1855, Chief Sealth of the Duwamish Tribe in my home state of Washington wrote a letter to the president of the United States. His letter contained a great truth:

    What is a man without beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. (Rynearson, 1978)

    Having spent most of my scientific career in the field of comparative medicine, I am continually reminded of people’s relationship to nonhuman life in...

  7. Chapter 2 ANIMAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNDERSTANDING AGING
    (pp. 12-54)

    The process of aging in people has long captured the imagination of our poets and challenged our scientists. Insight into this process has been provided by many species of animals that I have observed for their entire life span. Everyone at one time or another, if only to oneself, asks: “How long can I expect to live?” People also ask about the life span of their animals (see Table 2). Among the animals I’ve studied, the laboratory mice and rats never reached four years of age. Our oldest dog approached 18, as did our oldest cat, and our miniature pigs...

  8. Chapter 3 ANIMAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO GERIATRIC MEDICINE
    (pp. 55-115)

    Health professionals owe an enormous debt to animals, for studies of various species have provided essential understanding of major human health problems. As a veterinarian, I have spent much of my scientific career observing animals, and hope to turn my observations and those of my colleagues into helpful suggestions for the benefit of the elderly and all those who contribute to their health and well-being. As background to my discussion of heart disease and cancer research, I would like to begin with an elementary prerequisite: An appreciation of the uniqueness of each living organism (person or animal) is essential to...

  9. Chapter 4 THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF COMPANION ANIMALS TO HUMAN WELL-BEING
    (pp. 116-166)

    Many older people, some for the first time in their lives, have discovered that companion animals satisfy some of their greatest needs, restore order to their lives, and enable them to grasp more securely the world of reality, the world of caring, concern, sacrifice, and intense emotional relationships. If older people withdraw from active participation in human affairs, the nonhuman environment becomes increasingly important. At this time in their lives, the elderly can gain much from companion animals. Animals can provide a boundless measure of acceptance, adoration, attention, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Animals also contribute to their owners’ concept of...

  10. Chapter 5 AFTERWORD
    (pp. 167-180)

    Animals have been of great assistance to us in understanding aging in people and in helping to clarify the complexities of some of our most costly diseases of the elderly. Animal studies have shown us how to alleviate some diseases by improved nutrition, modified life style, and animal companionship. Rather than emphasize the totally negative definitions of aging, I prefer to consider aging as the processes associated with attaining maturity. My friend Maggie Kuhn provides some perspective on these processes when she said: “Aging occurs from conception to resurrection.” Old age can be a time of fulfillment, a period worthwhile...

  11. Appendix A AGENCIES TRAINING DOGS TO AID THE HANDICAPPED
    (pp. 181-187)
  12. Appendix B YOUNG ANIMAL SELECTION
    (pp. 188-192)
  13. REFERENCES
    (pp. 193-220)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 221-227)