Columbus Dispatch: Pets can do wonders for older adopters
90-year-old Sarah Lilly owns a 12-year-old Lhasa apso-poodle mix named Katy and the two have been inseparable. Before Katy came into her life, Lilly was always at home because she had several falls that got her scared to go outside much. Now, however, she takes the dog out for two walks per day and wherever they go Katy is mindful of giving Lilly some space.
Experts have said that pets play a big role in human development especially in older adults. In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Dr. Marian Schuda, a geriatrician and medical director at OhioHealth's John J. Gerlach Center for Senior Health, for example, prescribes pets to people because of the benefits. Pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and regulate heart rate during stressful situations. They can also increase the social interaction and physical activity of seniors who live alone or in group facilities. additionally, some senior centers residents to have pets so that patients enjoy the physical and psychological effects of having a pet around. Studies have also shown that animal companionship can reduce depression and loneliness.
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