In this context, having pets insulates seniors from the pangs of loneliness with the pet animals' love and companionship. Pets can put an easy smile on your face at the end of the day, restoring and even enhancing your own self-worth. Protection from aging-related diseases The ability of pets to provide substantial protection from certain diseases is not just myth or hearsay. There have been several studies documenting the fact. For example, in Australia's largest cardiac center, the Baker Medical Research Institute, more than five thousand people who visited the center for cardiovascular evaluation were surveyed, specifically analyzing the patients' diet, exercise habits, whether or not they smoked, and blood pressure. In their findings, the medical researchers stated that those who owned pets had significantly reduced levels of known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In New York, a clinical research project conducted in 1980 at Brooklyn College studied discharged heart disease patients. Each survivor was tracked, and their medical histories, lifestyles, relationships and every other document-able detail were carefully studied. In their conclusion, the researched stated that 'the presence of a pet was the strongest social predictor of survival, not just for lonely and depressed people, but everyone, independent of marital status and access to social support from human beings.' The results of several research studies involving coronary disease patients also showed that the mortality rate of people without companion animals is three times greater than those who live with pets.
By the numbers, as approximately 1 million people die every year from heart disease, 30,000 people are saved by the life-prolonging benefits of animal companionship. Indeed, so many studies have found that having pet animals can lower the human owner's blood pressure and pulse rate, reduces the propensity or instances of depression, and enhances their sense of security and peace of mind. A pet dog's unconditional love and support can work wonders on one's medical condition. Pets as a positive daily element in a senior's life Having companion animals, especially dogs or cats, can motivate seniors to take better care of themselves.
The pets tend to indirectly encourage seniors to become more active in their daily lives. For instance, the tasks of walking the dog, preparing food, and bathing them are often enough reason to get up in the morning and engage with the day. Pets can also serve as seeds in forging new friendships-when you walk the dog in the park, you may meet other pet lovers with whom you can share your passion and interests concerning your pets.
The value of a companion animal in a person's sense of purpose and direction is perhaps very dramatically portrayed in the 2007 film I Am Legend, in which Will Smith's character and his German shepherd named Sam are the only survivors of a chemical holocaust in New York; when the dog Sam died tragically, Smith becomes suicidal and self-destructive. At bottom, having pets provide so many healthful, social, and emotional benefits in their relationship with their human owners.
If you want to start feeling better, why not visit the nearest animal shelter and adopt a nice, little puppy?