The Elderly and Pets

Pets Have a Positive Impact on Growing Old

According to new data from the University of Michigan National Poll on Health Aging, owning a pet as you age has a positive impact on physical and mental health.

Nearly 90% of older pet owners said their animals helped them enjoy life and feel loved; roughly 80% said their pets reduced stress; and almost three-quarters said their furry friends provided a sense of purpose, according to the poll. In addition, 64% of pet owners — and 78% of dog owners — said their pets helped them stay physically active. Sixty percent also said their pets helped them cope with physical and emotional health issues.

There were some negatives such as difficulty with travelling, some financial stress and an increase in injuries such as fractures.  However, it appears the benefits that pets have on our health such as lower stress levels, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased social interaction and the encouragement of physical activity suggest that pet ownership is good for all of us especially the elderly.  

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