The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dr. Raeann LeBlanc to Present Research on Human-Animal Interaction at Gerontological Society Annual Meeting

Oct 31, 2019

Dr. Raeann LeBlanc, Clinical Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing and Dr. Katie Potter, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and the UMass Behavioral Medicine Lab, will present as part of a symposium on Human-Animal Interaction at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting in Austin TX November 13-17. The theme of the conference is Strength in Age: Harnessing the Power of Networks.  In the Symposium entitled Pets in Older Adults’ Social Networks:  Human-Animal Interaction, Interpersonal Connections, and Health Aging, Dr. LeBlanc will present qualitative evidence for how pets fit into older adults’ social networks and quantitative evidence for the impact of animal and interpersonal companionship on overall and functional health. Dr. Potter’s research will discuss a growing body of evidence for the positive impact of dog walking on older adults’ physical health.  Dr. Potter’s talk provides evidence for the positive impact of dog walking improving interpersonal connections with neighbors. Drs. Potter and LeBlanc are  currently working together on Project Rover, a pilot research study that Dr. Potter is leading exploring the impact of dog training classes on the walking habits of people at least 60 years of age and older".


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