Have you ever watched a small child giggle as he tried to hug a squirmy puppy? Spied your favorite aunt dozing with a book and a calico in her lap? Caught a glimpse of a couple proudly walking a rescue dog? The joy they all share is due in large measure to interaction and camaraderie with these beloved animals. In fact, pet ownership has been shown to enhance quality of life while reducing stress and many of the symptoms it creates — life just feels better when shared with a companion critter. This is especially true for older adults, who may find their opportunities for socializing more limited. A faithful dog or mysterious feline can help keep life interesting. A study done in Australia summed it up beautifully: Pets not only offer companionship and unconditional love, they have the ability to boost health and general well-being, especially as we age. Other studies show that pet owners visit doctors less often and use less medication. On average, they also have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, recover more quickly from illness and surgery, deal better with stress, and are less likely to be lonely. Friendships with animals — and even visits from friends or family who bring along their pets — can reduce depression and can even calm some of the symptoms of certain memory disorders. Simpson Meadows in Chester County is proud to be a pet-friendly community, where we continually keep up with the latest studies and support for older adults. Please give us a call soon; we’d love to help with any questions or concerns you may have, including the need for our superb Memory Care and Assisted Living programs. Call (484) 364-3861 or visit www.simpsonmeadows.org today.