How could a pet improve my aging parent's health?

Shelley Webb
The list of the advantages of pet ownership for the elderly is quite extensive. From a purely medical point of view, studies have shown pet ownership to reduce blood pressure, reduce stress anxiety, and to reduce depression. Reduced rehab time after heart attacks has been documented in the pet owning population; coronary disease and cholesterol issues are reduced as well. Pet owning seniors also visit the doctor less often. Muscle strength and flexibility are better. Many of these physical benefits are traced to the increased activity, such as walking, that pet owners undertake with their animals. Walking also keeps them in touch with the restorative aspects of the surrounding community and nature.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.