7902 S Mingo Rd Tulsa, OK 74133 (918) 893-3500
Pets Fetch Big Health Benefits
At Assisted Living Residences
Before we tell you all about how a pet can improve your health and state of mind (it’s all true), let’s just talk about how much we love animals. Because, really, who’s not attracted to “cute”? Hardened professional wrestlers have been caught laughing at cat videos. They make you feel good. Is that not enough reason? Well, it should be, and at Legend Assisted Living residences, we welcome pets and encourage pet ownership. Our Legend Associates tell us it warms their hearts to see their friends the residents leaving the apartment for a walk with Fluffy. Because they’re always smiling. The residents, we mean.
If you need more reasons, we can cite all kinds of medical research that confirms an animal lover’s instinct that pets are not just good to you – they’re good for you. The Animal Health Foundation discusses several important benefits that pets bring to seniors and their wellness programs:
More Physical Activity
You know those surveys that ask you what your weekly activity level is? Most regular dog walkers can consider themselves “moderate to vigorous” exercisers. It’s good for the dog, too. We suppose that applies to Komodo dragons and pet deer, as well, but we haven’t seen many of those around here. A New York Times article says, “Forget the Treadmill. Get a Dog.” Bold statement, but half the people who walk dogs get 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Only a third of people without pets get that much.
And all the great stuff that comes with lower stress, like lower blood pressure, or more relevant, relief of hypertension. Being around animals lowers cortisol levels, cortisol being a key stress hormone. That’s why a lot of offices and universities are allowing dogs at work and in the classroom. One study of hospitalized heart patients found that dogs decreased the patients’ blood pressure by about 10% in the left side of their hearts. Now, some will argue that certain pets can cause stress, somebody else’s dog with a barking problem, for instance. But that’s beside the point. Cats aren’t, though. People with cats are 40% less likely to have a fatal heart attack. We just report the numbers, folks.
Help with Depression
Solitude can be a good thing, but if it’s a result of withdrawal, it can be bad for mental health. Pets can help, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The NIMH recognizes animal-assisted therapy as a treatment for depression and other mood disorders. Pets help a person socialize, and alleviate feelings of isolation. Contact with an animal acts similarly on brain chemistry as some antidepressants. Walking a pet not only socializes the pet owner, but releases endorphins necessary to well-being.
Assisted Living should include an active, vibrant, mentally stimulating lifestyle as well as the best senior care. At Legend residences, our pet-friendly environment makes pet-owning easy without infringing on non-pet-owners. Walking paths are integral to the “purposeful design” of Legend residences. Enjoy your pet’s company!