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As an assisted living community made up of plenty of pet lovers, we know how important furry friends are to our overall health and happiness. They’re a part of the family, after all! Although many studies have shown that there are numerous benefits to pet-friendly assisted living, especially for those experiencing memory loss, many communities continue to limit the presence of a pet, some completely forbidding it.
At Spring Hills, we understand that pets and therapy pet programs are crucial to the happiness of so many of our residents and we’re proud to be among the few pet-friendly assisted living communities in the nation. In addition to creating what is a fun and lighthearted environment, the presence of a pet offers numerous benefits:
The benefit of companionship after retirement is obvious; when residents—especially those undergoing memory care—have a friend to care for, it breaks up their day, gives them someone to talk, and gives them something to focus on outside of any existing health symptoms. In fact, multiple studies of all age groups have shown that mental health is improved when someone has an animal to care for and we’ve seen those improvements firsthand!
Furry Friends and Mental Health Happiness
While therapy pets and service dogs can help to ward off senior depression, the benefits go even further. Through our PAW (Pets Are Welcome) Program, Spring Hills has seen symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and Sundowner’s Syndrome ease in our elderly residents. Furry friends have been seen to reduce anxiety and agitation, letting your loved one feel more comfortable and at peace. Residents have also been known to become more engaged and alert after spending quality time with those they love most.
A Pet’s Advantage on Physical Health
Science has also demonstrated that pet-friendly assisted living is good for a senior’s long-term health. Because of the stress-relieving effects that pets can have on our psyche, those who regularly spend time with animals tend to have lower blood pressure and triglycerides. This makes them less vulnerable to heart disease and heart attacks, helping them to stay active and healthy. Additionally, many service dogs are trained to detect health concerns before they happen, such as epilepsy seizures.
There is no doubt that pairing pets with their beloved senior residents benefit both the animal and the individual. From pet-friendly assisted living that allows seniors to keep their companion always nearby or to our innovative pet therapy program that helps our seniors stay healthier, Spring Hills is here to help, along with the assistance of Fido!