Studies Show Pets May Benefit Seniors’ Health

Owning pets can provide health improvements for some seniors.

According to a recent study by the Purdue University School of Nursing, pets can reduce depression and help keep seniors on a regular eating schedule, improving nutrition. Other studies have found that seniors who own pets have greater self-esteem and are less lonely and fearful, improving their mental well-being.

At the same time, it is important to be aware that pets and pet toys may increase the risk of falls, which can be a danger to older people. And while taking care of pets is a joy for many seniors, some may find it difficult to keep up with their care, adding to stress. With those caveats in mind, many seniors’ health and well-being are improved by animal companionship.

The Virginia Beach SPCA participates in the activities of the Pets for the Elderly Foundation, a public charity that promotes pet ownership for seniors. For more information, visit

The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center assist Virginia families with will preparation, trust & estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. To learn more, visit or call 757-399-7506.

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