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The Ackerly at Reed’s Crossing: Pet-Friendly Senior Living

Pet Friendly Senior Living at The Ackerly at Reed's Crossing

Alissa Sauer

In every stage of life, we can find companionship in the most unexpected places. For many older adults, furry friends become cherished companions, bringing joy, love, and a sense of purpose. The bond between pets and older adults is truly remarkable, and the benefits that come with this connection are numerous, both for mental and physical well-being. Take a closer look at the heartwarming world of older adults and pets, exploring the incredible impact that our furry companions can have at every stage of life. 

Benefits of Pets for Older Adults

Joy and Companionship

Pets are arguably the most loving and loyal companions for people of all ages. Offering unconditional love and companionship, whether it’s a loyal dog or a playful cat, can fill each day with moments of joy and laughter. Pets provide a constant source of companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness. The bond formed with a pet is a unique connection, one that can bring immense comfort and happiness.

Movement and Exercise

Dogs demanding a daily walk can convince people to exercise, improving cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and mental health. Older adults with pets are more likely to stay active, as daily walks and playtime are essential for keeping pets healthy and happy. This physical activity benefits older adults as well, promoting a healthier lifestyle and reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Having a pet encourages regular exercise, whether it’s a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or a playful game of fetch in the backyard. This active routine not only benefits the body but also contributes to mental well-being.

Stress Relief and Anxiety Reducer

The simple act of petting a dog or cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin. This natural stress relief can be a powerful tool in maintaining overall well-being, especially during times of change or transition. Owning and caring for a pet can help seniors combat social isolation, connect with others, and reduce symptoms of stress and depression. In fact, Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, states, “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate, and possibly, in an elevated mood.”

A 2019 study evaluated the effects of dogs on nearly 200 people diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder and found that 94 percent reported a reduction in feelings of anxiety by petting a dog, and 51 percent said that their dog was responsible for interrupting unwanted thoughts.

A Sense of Purpose and Responsibility

Caring for a pet gives older adults a renewed sense of purpose. The daily routines of feeding, grooming, and providing affection create a meaningful structure for each day. This responsibility can be incredibly rewarding, fostering a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Knowing that a pet relies on them for love and care can provide older adults with a renewed sense of importance, and this can make a significant difference in their outlook on life.

Creating Connections

Pets are wonderful conversation starters and a great way to connect with others. Whether it’s sharing stories about their beloved pet, meeting fellow pet lovers at the park, or simply enjoying the smiles and compliments from neighbors during walks, having a pet opens doors to social interactions. For older adults, this can be a lifeline to combat feelings of isolation and create new friendships within the community

Pet-Friendly Senior Living at The Ackerly at Reed’s Crossing

Pets aren’t just furry companions; they’re healers of the heart, motivators of movement, and facilitators of connections. The benefits they bring to older adults are immeasurable, enhancing their quality of life and adding intention and purpose to the everyday.

The Ackerly at Reed’s Crossing offers a continuum of senior care services, including independent livingassisted living, and memory care. Our senior living community is pet-friendly, offering pet care services for cats and dogs in independent living and assisted living. Contact The Ackerly at Reed’s Crossing today to learn more about pet-friendly senior living in Hillsboro, OR.

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