There are many ways that pets can enrich the lives of their owners. The benefits to our physical and mental health are sometimes overlooked though. A popular trend in senior health news, in particular, is that pets can greatly improve senior health, sometimes being the determining factor in how long a senior can stay independent in their own homes.
Senior Health Benefits
Pets have been shown to have the following effects on senior health:
- Stress reduction
- Lower blood pressure
- Exercise, keeping the elderly from infirmity
- Helping owner fight loneliness, reducing depression
- Pets give owners something to focus on
- Allows the owner to feel truly useful, taking care of another living thing
Affecting senior health, studies found that heart attack survivors with pets would ultimately live longer than their pet-less counterparts. Petting their pets lowered these patients’ blood pressure, and increased their oxytocin levels (oxytocin is a feel-good chemical in your brain).