Pets Help Improve Seniors’ Health

Pets Help Improve Seniors’ Health

PETS CAN HELP ELDERLY OWNERS get active, shake off stress, and feel less pain, according to a recent poll.

Only pet owners can truly understand the joy a pet can bring to their lives. Yet according to this poll, pets do more than provide happiness to humans – they bring mental and physical health benefits, too. This is according to the results of the National Poll on Healthy Aging by the University of Michigan. The poll found that 55% of older adults own a pet, with more than three-quarters of respondents saying that having pets reduces their stress and gives them a sense of purpose.

Correlation Between Dogs and Activeness

Two-thirds of pet owners, including 78% of dog owners, also shared that their pet keeps them physically active. Meanwhile, owning pets seemed to even be more beneficial for respondents who said their health was fair or poor, with over 70% saying their pet helps them cope with physical or emotional symptoms. An incredible 46% said that their pets helped them take their mind off the pain.

Mary Janevic, who helped design the poll, said, “Relationships with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older adults with a sense of being needed and loved.”

Professor Cathleen Connell has studied the role of companion animals in older adults’ lives. “We have long known that pets are a common and naturally occurring source of support.” But aside from taking care of pets, Connell adds that maintaining social connections and activities with friends and family helps improve older people’s quality of life. “Helping older adults find low-cost ways to support pet ownership while not sacrificing other important relationships and priorities is an investment in overall mental and physical health.”

And that is exactly what the AWLQ does! If you are thinking about adopting, then this will surely set your mind at ease. ■

Click here to know more about the betterment of elderly life.

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