The Study of Human-Animal Interactions Benefits We Derive from Companion Animals Caring for pets is effective in keeping the elderly healthy
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Caring for pets is effective in keeping the elderly healthy
A large amount of research is being devoted to the relationship between pets and the elderly. A group led by Dr. Tomoko Saito, a part-time lecturer of College of Medical Technology & Nursing at University of Tsukuba, conducted an epidemiological study demonstrating a marked trend toward healthier lifestyles among elderly subjects who own pets relative to those who do not. The study of competence level in the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) was conducted on a group of 400 subjects aged 65 and over in a village in Ibaraki prefecture, and presented at the 2001 International Conference on Human-Animal Interactions. Similar research projects are also being conducted abroad. Research by Prof. Parminder Raina et al. of Canada's University of British Columbia showed that on average the elderly who own pets had 30 encounters with the health care system whereas non-pet owners on average had 37 encounters. Also, seniors who owned pets had shorter length hospital stays (8.0 days) than non-pet owners (13 days). This report was also presented at the 1998 International Conference on Human-Animal Interactions.
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