Humans are relational beings. Interacting with animals can meet many core psychosocial needs and can enrich the lives of all people, especially older adults. As people age, their emotional health may be impacted. They may develop feelings of loneliness, anxiousness, and helplessness due to moving into a care facility, becoming widowed or developing health issues. Interacting with animals can help to increase positive emotions, such as calmness and happiness, and decrease negative emotions, such as anxiousness and loneliness. Animals provide pleasure and relaxation; deep affection and steadfast loyalty; and security. When older adults interact with animals, it can bring joy and comfort as well as contribute to healthier, happier, and even longer lives.
With the official start of spring, we will be having a couple of opportunities for the residents at Oak Hills to interact with animals. In the month of April, we will be having some newborn lambs and chicks visiting during our “Spring Time Animals.” There will also be dog visits throughout the month.