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Perspectives: Pets as Medicine


Both research and practice now show that animal interaction can have undeniable benefits for people, especially older folks.  To talk about it are: Dr. Natalie Sachs-Erickson with the FSU Dept. of Psychology who, along with the Dept. of Sociology’s Dr. Dawn Carr, studied the impact of companion animals on an aging population through the Health and Retirement Survey; and from the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Animal Therapy Program, Stephanie Perkins and Heather Gainey.

In their study of companion pets and older adults, Natalie Sachs-Ericsson and Dawn Carr, both Faculty Affiliates of Florida State University’s Institute for Successful Longevity, are tapping into data on human-animal interaction collected as part of the Health and Retirement Survey, a long-term study of more than 20,000 individuals 50 years old or older. 

You can read more about their research project at http://news.fsu.edu/news/education-society/2018/02/22/fsu-researchers-pursue-truth-cats-dogs-older-adults/.

Site for the TMH Animal Therapy Program: https://www.tmh.org/services/animal-therapy