Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research / 2014 / Article / Tab 5

Review Article

The Benefit of Pets and Animal-Assisted Therapy to the Health of Older Individuals

Table 5

Potential benefits and risks of animals in the elderly.

Potential benefitsPotential harms

Increased physical activityCost
Improved survival in cardiovascular diseaseInjury to self
Improved circulatory hemodynamic responses Injury to others
Less behavioral disturbance in demented patientsDamage to property
Improved socialization in demented patientsDamage to environment
Weight maintenance in demented patientsZoonotic infections
Less anxiety, fear in depressed patientsAdverse psychological event (e.g., grief reaction over loss of pet)
Improved social behavior in schizophrenicsAdverse social event (e.g., friends, neighbors fear pet)
Less lonelinessGreater rehospitalization rate in acute coronary syndrome patients