Pets Move in to Senior Living
Are you a dog-person, cat-person or just an every day animal lover? If so, you’ll be happy to know that most senior living communities encourage residents to bring their pets with them! When Emeritus says, “Our family is committed to yours,” that includes this important member of your family.
The healing power of animals is one that is sometimes difficult to quantify, but that many will attest improves residents mental health and purpose. Residents communicate and nurture their community pets. Pets make senior living communities feel like home by bringing life and love into the lives of the residents.
Studies also show a positive influence of companion animals on the physical and psychological health of older people, including the benefits of pet ownership in maintaining or slightly enhancing ADL levels of older people.
- Additional physical health benefits accredited to animals include:
- Lower blood pressure and stress, improving results for individuals who experience anxiety and/or depression
- Help residents cope with life changes
- Helping facilitate social interactions
- Provide recreational activity such as dog walking
- [Service animals] help people with disabilities live active lives
Loren Shook, Silverado’s President, CEO and co-founder, understands the power and influence that animals can have to our connection with the world. Back in his days working at Fairfax Hospital, Loren encountered a woman who had been catatonic for years. He learned that she used to have a great love for horses, so he brought a gentle horse to meet her in the driveway. “To the amazement of everyone observing, the woman moved her arm and began petting the horse. She had regained her consciousness in the presence of a loving animal. Eventually she was able to walk and speak again. Her bonding experience with the horse and her subsequent recovery defied medical reasoning”.
Silverado’s Pet Therapy program, Emeritus’s Pet Friendly Living program, and many other senior living companys’ pet policies are integrating animals into residents’ dynamic lifestyles to improve quality of life. Do you know a senior living company that strengthens moral and resident engagement at their communities through the healing power of animals? I would love it if you would share with me!