Older Adults: Preventing Falls Every year, millions of adults fall, leading to injuries and emergency room visits. Many of these falls and injuries can be prevented. Pets Fill a Special Role in Seniors' Lives Having a pet can be a boon to body and soul—especially as we age. Pets can relieve stress—which may help explain why studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Older Adults and the Importance of Social Interaction Research has shown that social interaction offers older adults many benefits. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships can help you maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function. Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal affective disorder, a type of mood disorder, can occur in late fall to early winter or late spring to early summer. Major Depression You may have depression if you have a persistent sad or "empty" mood, or if you find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. Depression Not a Normal Part of Aging In general, only about three percent of the elderly living independently in the community will experience depression. That figure increases to around 20 to 30 percent of persons in nursing homes or with chronic illnesses like emphysema, heart disease or diabetes. For Seniors: Is It More Than the Blues? Although anyone can suffer from depression, it is particularly common among older adults. Depression affects 15 out of every 100 adults older than 65. Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life? A growing number of scientific studies indicate that optimistic people tend to live longer and have better physical and mental health than pessimistic people.