Pets are more than just our companions—they’re our personal trainers, our therapists and, of course, our best snugglers. Given these many talents, it’s no surprise that they can improve the health of older adults in many different ways.
How do our pets help improve our health?
The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has performed a number of studies on the power of animal connections and found that engaging with pets is valuable for improving both physical and mental health in older adults.
According to HABRI research, regular contact with pets can:
Decrease anxiety and depression
Alleviate social isolation and loneliness
Improve recovery time after an illness or injury
Reduce blood pressure
Some research even suggests that it can improve cognitive function, especially in cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s. But how?
Companion animals improve our well-being in various ways, many of which we may not even notice. They keep us company and provide us with an affectionate friend to hang out with (something that is especially important for people with limited mobility).
How can our pets keep us fit and in shape?
The affection we get from our pets impacts our outlook on life, and studies suggest that a positive outlook can speed up our recovery after an illness or injury. Many hospitals and rehabilitation centers have established pet visitation programs for their patients. Dogs are especially effective at helping older patients who have physical disabilities.
Plus, the routine of caring for a pet is valuable for keeping older adults on a regular schedule. A 10-minute stroll with a dog or even a few minutes of active play with a kitten can stimulate feel-good chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine. This activity can also improve heart health, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and much more.
Finding the right care for you
Our pets can only do so much though. For everything else, Cigna can help you find high quality doctors and Medicare coverage that’s right for you. Nationwide has partnered with Cigna to that end. Cigna Medicare plans offer flexible coverage options and expert guidance from start to finish.
If you are eligible for Medicare, Cigna has plans that come bundled with perks that help you get more from your Medicare coverage. They offer a number of popular plans to meet all lifestyle needs.
If you are at least 65 years, or otherwise Medicare eligible, call 866-628-3361 (TTY 711) 7 days a week, 8 a.m.-8p.m. to talk to a Cigna Representative about your Medicare options today!
All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc.Cigna contracts with Medicare to offer Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans and Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) in select states, and with select State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in Cigna depends on contract renewal.