With the COVID-19 global pandemic still in effect, more and more individuals are seeking comfort by adopting pets. Why? Pets are companions and act as a coping mechanism by helping decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and maintain physical movement.
Coping with Stress
Stress can lead to loneliness, especially during a pandemic. Having a pet to “talk” to, connect with, or go on walks with can help lower stress levels. This is true for seniors as well. Science shows that petting an animal and interacting with them can take the edge off by reducing levels of cortisol, a major stress hormone.
Lowering Blood Pressure
There’s a reason that some places use therapy dogs. Having and taking care of a four-legged companion helps to distract from day-to-day worries. Pets are known to help ease anxiety, alleviate depression, increase motivation, and boost mood. More importantly, there is an increase in emotional and social well-being.
Maintaining Physical Movement
Pets, especially dogs, can help older adults maintain physical movement, because they must be walked and played with. Regular exercise, such as walking, also improves cardiovascular health, reduces arthritic pain, improves digestion, and boosts the immune system. Physical movement is even important for those with limited mobility as regular movement helps to slow the progression of mobility issues.
Pet-friendly Assisted Living Communities
Avanti Senior Living knows the importance of pets and the effect they have on the mental and physical health on their residents. That’s why communities are pet-friendly and offer a beautifully landscaped dog walking area.