I read the neatest story about a senior living facility called Silverado Senior Living, which has locations throughout California, Texas and Utah. They care mostly for seniors with some type of dementia and attribute the health gains that they are seeing in the residents to their mandatory animal rule:
The rule requires atleast 1 dog and one cat for every 25 residents, 1 bird for every 4 residents, and an aquarium for every 40 people.
Part of everyone’s daily schedule involves grooming, walking, feeding and caring for the animals. Noticeable benefits among the residents include heightened self-esteem and lessening of depression. This contributes significantly to improved mental and physical well-being.
The majority of the animals who live at the facilities are adopted from rescue groups. Very cool.