The positive effect of companion animals… It is a great help in preventing dementia

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Being with pets provides a variety of benefits for emotional health, including not only happy feelings, but also relief from stress and peace of mind. This is not the only positive effect that pets have on our health. Spending a long time with your pet is also beneficial for brain health.

Pets can help prevent dementia

According to a recently published study, just being with a companion animal slows down the age-related memory decline and cognitive decline. Professor Jennifer Applebaum of the University of Florida, who conducted the study, said, “Regardless of the type of pet, living with a companion animal for a long time can prevent cognitive decline and prevent dementia.” explained the findings of the study. Apple Baum and her colleagues analyzed cognitive data from 1,300 people aged 50 and over for the study. As a result, they found that the rate of cognitive decline was slower in companions living with companion animals compared to those who did not.

Professor Applebaum said, “This phenomenon occurs because interactions with pets, such as remembering pet names, feeding them at the right time, and taking walks together, reduce stress levels, which is one of the main causes of cognitive decline. do,” he said.

Must have been with pets for at least 5 years

The health benefits of companion animals were greatest when they had been with them for more than 5 years. According to a study by Tiffany Braley, a professor of neuroimmunology at the University of Michigan, the cognitive score of people who have been with a companion animal for more than 5 years are 1.2 points higher than that of people who have not had a companion for the past 6 years. do.

“The results of this study suggest that the longer you spend with pets, the slower the rate of cognitive decline,” said Professor Braley. It’s a big help,” he said.

In fact, at a nursing home in Arizona, USA, when dementia patients started taking care of a stray kitten, dementia symptoms were relieved and memory was restored to some extent. The nursing home side confirmed improvement in symptoms of dementia patients caring for cats and increased the number of cats cared for, and the nearby nursing homes also saw this and started to introduce animal therapy.

Based on these findings, several countries have decided to include companion animals in welfare programs for the elderly. The Japanese government, a representative aging country, has been introducing animal therapy to nursing homes starting this year. The purpose is to solve the problems of the elderly’s well-being and abandoned animals at once.

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