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The Benefits of Pets for Seniors

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They console us when we’re down, and make us smile and enjoy life more: pets. They can be very good for us, whether it’s our physical health or our state of mind. Experts are quick to tell us how they can impact our bodies, and at Peregrine Senior Living, we know that the mind and spirit benefit as well. 

Benefits of pets for seniors:

Can help you feel physically better

There’s growing evidence that being around a pet can help you heal faster and stay healthier. According to The New York Times, a Japanese study found pet owners made 30 percent fewer visits to doctors, while a Melbourne study showed that owners of dogs and other pets had lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart attack risk compared with people who didn’t have pets. A wet nose is good medicine!

Elevates your mood

Just petting a kitten or a puppy makes you feel good, because it releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone, in your body. Once that happens, blood pressure goes down and good feelings flow in. So when you’re looking at the benefits of pets for seniors, this is a big one! Pet therapy is a signature service of The Peregrine Way™, giving our residents without pets the opportunity to get those good feelings on a regular basis. Most Peregrine communities have a house pet to greet the residents wherever they may be and encourage residents to bring their own pets if they can care for them.

Gives you a purpose

Not that we need scientists to tell us these things, but in a national poll on healthy aging, 73% of older adults who own a pet said that their pets provide a sense of purpose. And having that sense of purpose is a fundamental principle of healthy aging. When you have a pet, you’re charged with keeping it fed, healthy, active, and safe. Cats keep us entertained. Dogs get us moving. Even fish depend on us to feed them and keep their tanks clean. The benefits of pets for seniors are numerous.

Help expand your social network

Who can resist an adorable furry face? Having a pet is a great conversation-starter. Walk through a park with Fido and see how many smiles you get. Share photos of your favorite feline and watch how easy it is to make a new friend. Just having a pet gives you the inspiration to get up and get moving each day and greet the world—and maybe make some connections you didn’t expect. 

Increase your fitness level

Walking a dog every day exercises your heart, helps your bone health, burns calories and can put a spring in your step. Playing with a kitten is exercise as well. At Peregrine Senior Living, we offer pet therapy to inspire our residents to interact with animals and benefit physically, as well as emotionally and mentally. When your stress and anxiety levels drop, you have more energy to thrive. 

Pets are welcome at Peregrine Senior Living

Our senior living communities are focused on helping our residents live life on their own terms, with the programs and services they need to stay independent, as well as enrichment opportunities so each person can reconnect with old passions and discover new ones. And that includes all the joys a pet can bring! So whether you have your own furry companion, or you benefit from our pet therapy, you’ll enjoy our pet-friendly atmosphere.

At Peregrine Senior Living, we believe in personal growth and a higher sense of purpose for all our residents. We’re here to help you. Download our free Just the Facts: Memory Care guide. Learn more about The Peregrine Way™Contact us today.

Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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