One of the hardest parts of aging is giving up a pet. Older adults who have to relinquish a pet when they move into an assisted living home often suffer from depression. Conversely, studies show that being around companion animals can lower our blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce stress, and lift our moods.
Some assisted living facilities throughout the United States are now allowing residents to bring their own animals with them when they move in. Sunrise Senior Living is one such facility. They also have a companion animal program that benefits the residents and saves the lives of dogs and cats at risk of euthanasia in shelters.
Every companion animal living in a Sunrise community is saved from a local shelter. Having companion animals and pets from home in their new surroundings makes the transition easier for seniors, and prevents them from being forced to part from their beloved pets.
Here are a few more ways that companion animals help seniors: