Pets have health benefits for the elderly

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Sorry folks. I’ve been slammed of late with other writing projects, so I have been woefully off line when it comes to the blog.

To get back into gear and back on my daily blogging pace, we have the results on a study about the health benefits pets offer to the elderly. File this one under the heading – “We Knew That, But it’s Great to see the Science Backing it Up.”

Pets Benefit Aging Adults’ Health, MU Researcher Says from MU News Bureau on Vimeo.

I received a press release this morning from the News Bureau of the University of Missouri, which states, “Having a pet can lower the stress hormone, cortisol, while increasing oxytocin, prolactin and norepinephrine, hormones related to joy, nurturing and relaxation.”

And the following is really important – “Rebecca Johnson, an associate professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and in the College of Veterinary Medicine, says long-term care facilities should follow the lead of others in their industry such as TigerPlace, an independent living community in Mid-Missouri, that enable residents to have pets.”

I hope this study will enlighten more facility managers and families as to the great connection people in general have with pets and certainly how much this connection means to older people.

Johnson is also director of MU’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI).
“Research suggests older adults live longer, healthier, happier lives when they interact with pets on a regular basis,” Johnson said through the release. “Pets provide companionship and unconditional love that improves the overall health of aging individuals.
“Caring for animals gives older adults responsibility and more reasons to get up in the mornings.”