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      Disruptive Solidarity or Solidarity Disrupted? A Dialogical Narrative Analysis of Economically Vulnerable Older Adults' Efforts to Age in Place with Pets

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      1 , 1 , 2 , 3
      Public Health Ethics
      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Over one-third of older adults in many countries have a companion animal, and pets may harbor health-promoting potential. Few studies have considered pet-ownership in relation to economic vulnerability, and pet-ownership has not been often considered within policy efforts to promote ageing-in-place. We conducted a mixed methods case study to understand perspectives of both community agencies that support ageing-in-place and older adults themselves. A shortage of affordable, appropriate pet-friendly housing emerged as a challenge, even when framed as a legitimate choice and preference for many older adults. In this manuscript, we share the trajectories of three economically vulnerable older adults whose affordable housing needs became entangled with commitments to pets. Guided by dialogical narrative methodology, we offer each narrative as a short vignette to (i) illustrate the extent to which older adults will practice ‘more-than-human solidarity’ for a pet, even when their own well-being is compromised as a result; and (ii) highlight incongruence between the underlying moral values that shape solidaristic practices of individuals versus solidaristic arrangements that shape affordable housing opportunities. We suggest that housing rules and legislation that disrupt, rather than confirm, more-than-human solidarity may render older adults susceptible to, rather than protected from, deteriorating physical, mental and social well-being. We propose that collective solidaristic practices must reflect and subsume the moral complexity of solidarity practiced by individuals, to enable fair and equitable ageing-in-place.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Public Health Ethics
          Public Health Ethics
          phe
          Public Health Ethics
          Oxford University Press
          1754-9973
          1754-9981
          April 2019
          06 June 2018
          06 June 2019
          : 12
          : 1
          : 15-29
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
          [2 ]Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
          [3 ]O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
          Author notes
          Corresponding author: Ann Toohey, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada. Tel.: 403-210-7208; Fax: 403-210-3818; Email: amtoohey@ 123456ucalgary.ca
          Author information
          http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4091-9460
          Article
          PMC6415722 PMC6415722 6415722 phy009
          10.1093/phe/phy009
          6415722
          30891096
          b891f261-1b23-4e10-a0fc-2f996696a376
          © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. Available online at www.phe.oxfordjournals.org

          This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)

          History
          Page count
          Pages: 15
          Funding
          Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research 10.13039/501100000024
          Funded by: CIHR 10.13039/501100000024
          Award ID: #MOP-130569
          Funded by: University of Calgary 10.13039/100008459
          Funded by: CIHR-Population Health Intervention Research Network
          Funded by: PHIRNET
          Funded by: Alberta Innovates Graduate Studentship
          Award ID: #201504
          Categories
          Original Articles

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