Sunday, July 31, 2016
Aging Can Be Better, Doggone It
Adding a furry friend to the mix helps a whole lot, too. Plenty of research has been conducted on the positive effects of pets on their humans — but the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging, has recently formed an innovative partnership with Mars Petcare to advance research in the area of human-animal interaction (HAI) among older adults.
“If there’s anything we can do to keep older adults healthier longer, we want to do it,” said Abigail Stevenson, Ph.D., global director of stakeholder relations for Mars Petcare. The company has been involved in research surrounding this topic for over 40 years, but Stevenson said they’re happy to be partnering on this new study.
Research has shown time and again that pet owners in general have healthier hearts, are sick less often, make fewer visits to the doctor, get more exercise, and are less depressed, said the National Center for Health Research.
Elderly individuals who have a cat or dog are more often able to perform “activities of daily living,” such as bending, climbing the stairs, bathing, and taking medications.
Pets may also have a significant impact on allergies, asthma, social support, and social interactions with other people.
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Aging Can be Easier, Doggone It