According to research, animals can help older adults lower their blood pressure as well as increase their social interactions and physical activity. Studies have also found pets help seniors to cope with depression and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Pets such as dogs and cats are very loyal, loving animals and make great companions for seniors.
In the National Poll on Healthy Aging, sponsored by AARP and the University of Michigan, 2,051 seniors age 50 to 80 were interviewed. Over half of the participants were pet owners, and of that group, more than 88% reported that pets added to their enjoyment of life. Moreover 86% of them said their pets made them feel loved. The survey also reported that as many as 80% of the pet owners stated their pets helped them reduce stress.
Experts estimate that up to 40% of seniors feel lonely on a regular basis, which is problematic as loneliness is associated with poor sleep habits, higher stress and more inflammation. In another study from 2012 by Pain Magazine, it was reported that “therapy dogs provided significant reduction in pain and emotional distress for chronic pain patients.” The journal, Science, reports that just by looking into the eyes of their dog for at least 5 minutes, pet owners got a boost of the feel-good oxytocin hormone in their brain.
Dr. Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey-based psychotherapist explains some of the benefits of pet ownership for the elderly, saying, “Dogs and cats live very much in the present; they don’t worry about tomorrow, which can be a very scary concept for an older person. An animal embodies that sense of here and now, and it tends to rub off on people.”
At MorningStar at Golden Ridge, we provide a true “home” for our independent living, assisted living and memory care residents. We also recognize the relationship that exists between a senior and their pet, which is why our community is pet friendly. Please see our website for more information regarding our pet policy and to learn about our various amenities, services, and support we offer to our residents and their families.
MorningStar Senior Living at Golden Ridge represents the finest in senior living with our unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve, we provide a true home for residents. We invite you to schedule a tour to see firsthand our exceptional independent living, assisted living and memory care.
At MorningStar Senior Living we strive to create a true home where you can enjoy your retirement years as carefree as possible. Offering a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community, our care team is committed to giving residents a quality of life that other senior living communities simply cannot match.