Pets hold a special place in our hearts. They bring comfort, joy, and companionship to people of all ages. For the elderly, a pet can often be a connection to their past, to their family or children, and bring back memories of a less complicated time in their lives. Here at Oaks Senior Living, we love pets! Many of our communities have ‘resident dogs, ' and our residents are welcome to care for pets of their own. Throughout the years, we have had residents bring dogs, cats, and even bunnies on occasion.
In addition to our communities being pet-friendly, we encourage our staff to bring in their furry friends. It is not uncommon to see an Executive Director with a four-legged friend trailing behind greeting residents with a lick and a kiss. We also work with local organizations to provide pet therapy for our residents who do not have a pet. These local groups visit our communities at least once a month and bring along furry companions for Oaks residents to love.
So what are the benefits of pets for seniors? According to studies, the elderly can get many advantages from being around animals. A study done by surveying community-based seniors showed the following results: 95% talk to their pets, 82% feel as if their pet helps them when they feel sad, 71% say that their pet assists them when they feel sick physically, 65% report that touching their pet makes them feel better, and finally 57% of elderly pet owners confide in their pet. In addition to these benefits, seniors can see the following advantages for their physical and mental health:
FOR PHYSICAL HEALTH
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect
- Diminishes overall physical pain
- The act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need
FOR MENTAL HEALTH
- Lifts spirits and lessens depression
- Decreases feelings of isolation and alienation
- Encourages communication
- Provides comfort
- Increases socialization and sense of community
- Reduces boredom
- Decreases anxiety
- Helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders
- Creates motivation for the client to recover faster
- Reduces loneliness
We would love to meet you and introduce you to our resident dogs! Please contact your local Oaks Senior Living for more information and to set up some cuddle time with our friendly pets!