Pets Are Welcome at Sodalis
Meet the most popular community members at Sodalis Senior Living. They’re the perfect roommate, always willing to listen, think you’re the best (even on your worst day), are great for your health—and many have 4 legs.
Unlike other senior living communities, pets are allowed to live with their owners at Sodalis communities, even for memory care residents (so long as the pet is well-mannered).
Pets add to the quality lifestyle the team at Sodalis Senior Living finds so important for its resident seniors. Pets not only bring a smile to everyone’s face, they are an important part of a healthier and better quality of life. Here’s how.
Pets help reduce a senior’s cholesterol and blood pressure levels
A three-year study of more than 5,000 people at the Baker Medical Research Institute in Australia found that pet owners had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet owners. The interesting part is that the researchers couldn’t explain why this was so.
Pet owners benefiting from better heart health thanks to Fido were not necessarily more active nor did they eat better or exercise more. The main success factor for better heart health was the simple fact that they had a beloved pet in their life.
Pets add a happy, positive routine to a senior’s day
Betty White wrote a wonderful book, Betty White’s Pet Love, on the importance of pets in an elder’s life. In the book she shares findings from human-animal interaction pioneer, Dr. Leo Bustad, who says about the senior-pet bond: “Pets restore order to their basic lives, provide a more secure grasp of reality, and link their owners to a community of caring, concern, sacrifice, and intense emotional relationships.”
The daily routine of caring for a pet helps fight loneliness. And enjoying quality moments with a pet is a great momentary distraction against aches and pains. Florida’s “Seniors for Seniors” Pet Adoption Program matches seniors with elderly dogs and they’ve had great results. 90% of program seniors polled said they’re happier and less lonely since adopting an animal.
Texas has a similar “Seniors for Seniors” Pet Adoption Program through the Animal Defense League of Texas that matches calmer, older dogs who may not be as easily adopted with interested seniors. They keep an updated list with photos of dogs and cats available for adoption here.
Pets improve nutrition in Alzheimer’s patients
Researchers at Purdue University installed aquariums for patients to visit daily over a two week treatment period and found that nutritional intake increased during the first two weeks and continued so long as the patients were able to visit the aquarium at least once per week.
Pets help seniors with anxiety
An Alzheimer’s special care unit added a resident dog for a study. There were fewer behavior and anxiety problems with the dog as a resident during the four weeks of the study.
The benefits aren’t exclusive to those suffering with Alzheimer’s or memory care patients. More than 20 studies find that senior living residents exposed to pets smile more, are more social and alert and less anxious. In fact, anxious or aggressive patients were more tolerant of others when an animal was present.
All these medical and scientific conclusions are wonderful but the best part of spending time with an animal is simply observing them or taking the time to pet them. The benefits to your mood can be remarkable.
Pets add a little sunshine to everyone’s day just by simply being themselves
If you don’t own a dog or cat you can still benefit from the love and support they offer. Sodalis Senior Living offers regular pet therapy visits at each community where local pet therapists bring their animals ready for love and cuddles.