It was not that long ago that seniors moving into an assisted living community had to leave behind an important companion, their pet. Today however, more and more retirement communities are recognizing the benefits of pets to the elderly, and many such as MorningStar of Santa Fe, allow residents to bring their pets with them.
There has been a lot of research that validates the benefits of pets in seniors’ lives. In fact, A Place for Mom website reports on a study that shows, “just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop.” They go on to say that interactions between pets and humans can “lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke.”
Another reason pets can be good for the elderly is that animals live in the here and now and do not think about tomorrow, which for some seniors, can be worrisome. In addition animals offer unconditional love, emotional support and affection. This is one reason why pet therapy programs are used in convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers and children centers. Many people participating in such programs experience an improvement in appetite as well as “more social interaction and tactile and cognitive stimulation after interactions with pets.”
There is even research that indicates pet therapy is beneficial for those suffering from dementia diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The animal’s complete acceptance and non-verbal communication has proven to be soothing for patients.
Please contact us to learn more about the MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Santa Fe. With beautifully appointed spaces and exceptional architecture, we are confident you will be impressed with our new community.
MorningStar of Santa Fe offers the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.” Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true “home” for residents. Situated on the west side of town, we invite you to drop in to our Information Center or give us a call to learn more about the finest assisted living in Santa Fe.