Pets benefit aging adults’ health, MU researcher says
Apr 3, 2012
One Health/One Medicine is based around collaboration between MU’s vet and med schools. This story focuses on an example.
From MU News Bureau
COLUMBIA, Mo. Aging adults benefit from relationships with pets, research has shown. Having a pet can lower the stress hormone, cortisol, while increasing oxytocin, prolactin and norepinephrine, hormones related to joy, nurturing and relaxation. Although the health benefits of pet ownership widely are acknowledged, many retirement communities and eldercare facilities do not allow or accommodate residents’ pet ownership. 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.
Johnson, director of MU’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) says interacting with pets can improve older adults’ quality of life. More…