A recent study done by the National Center for Health Research found that pets improved the health of their owners “by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations.” When it comes to senior health, the companionship that a pet brings can have not only physical, but also psychological benefits.

An article by the Huffington Post lists some of these positive effects for seniors:

  • Physical Benefits: Your level of physical activity increases when you have a pet. Whether you’re pulling a piece of string or another toy around the place in a game of cat-and-mouse with Fluffy, or taking Fido out for a walk, pets get us moving. Increased physical activity, a healthier heart, lowered stress levels, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease are just some of the tangible, physical benefits pets bring to our life.
  • Psychological Benefits: The American Psychological Association has reported on the numerous psychological and social connections between feelings of greater self-esteem and overall emotional well-being, and a decreased sense of loneliness among seniors who had animal companions. Studies also show pets help alleviate depression and reduce the feeling of isolation that often accompanies depression.

Read the full article: Senior Health: The Paw-sitive Effects of Pets

For other Wellness Wednesday content, visit: