CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwired - Oct 3, 2013) - Older adults who have owned animals previously or own them now undoubtedly know their companions make them feel good. But they may be surprised at just how many ways pets can improve health.

With its newest download "Pet Companionship for Older Adults: How Interacting with Animals Can Improve Your Physical, Social, & Emotional Health," Kendal Northern Ohio examines the positive relationship older adults, especially those in therapeutic settings, can have with animals. To get your free copy of the download, visit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are numerous health benefits to owning a pet for older adults. Pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness while increasing opportunities for exercise and socialization. For older adults with special health needs, such as Alzheimer's or those recovering from stroke or illness, pet ownership or pet interaction can improve mood and reduce anxiety.

"Pet therapy isn't about getting a new pet for somebody because they moved into a care center," says Michele Tarsitano-Amato, board certified registered art therapist, dementia specialist, and director of creative arts therapy at Kendal at Oberlin. "It's about supporting the lifetime relationship older adults have with their pets. That love bond is so strong. That comfort the animal gives the owner is so important."

For healthy older adults eager to experience the joys and benefits pets can provide later in life, the download also outlines several factors to consider before adopting or purchasing an animal, including:

  • Living Arrangement
  • Foster vs. Own
  • Where to Find Pets
  • Physical Ability
  • Lifestyle
  • And Animal Age

To see all this and more, download "Pet Companionship for Older Adults: How Interacting with Animals Can Improve Your Physical, Social, & Emotional Health" at today!

About Kendal Northern Ohio
An affiliate of The Kendal Corporation, Kendal Northern Ohio strives to enrich the lives of older adults in Northeast Ohio and beyond by offering ongoing programs and services, including lifelong learning. Kendal Northern Ohio operates on Quaker principles and values and welcomes individuals of any religion, race, color, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background. Kendal Northern Ohio supports the programs and services provided by Kendal at Oberlin, Kendal at Home, and Senior Independence. Together, transforming the experience of aging.® For more information, visit