Lexington, KY – August 2015– Animals have the special ability to make everything better, especially irresistibly adorable pets. Nothing sparks a smile faster than a playful puppy wagging his tail. Filled with so much love and happiness, pets can be the perfect companion. In addition to their cute and cuddliness, pets also have the ability to improve overall well-being, which is why Pet Therapy is so popular at Morning Pointe of Lexington.

According to an article on aplaceformom.com, just 15 minutes of bonding with an animal can set off a positive chemical reaction in the brain. This reaction lowers levels of the flight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, and increases the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin, resulting in a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels almost immediately. In addition to instant improvement of well-being, pet therapy has been proven to be extremely beneficial for seniors over time and can help fight depression and reduce cholesterol levels.

The powerful impact pet interaction has on seniors can easily be seen at Morning Pointe whenever furry friends come to visit. Residents perk up at the first sight of a playful puppy at the senior living community and smiles form on their faces whether they are petting, brushing or simply cuddling an animal.

In addition to the animals that visit for pet therapy, Morning Pointe of Lexington also has a permanent puppy resident named Yogi. Yogi has been pampered at Morning Pointe for almost three years and residents consider him to be the mascot of the senior living community. Yogi is a Yorkshire Terrier who was adopted by Mr. Wester when he was six years old. At the time, Yogi only weighed eight pounds and would barely eat and now, he’s almost 18 pounds and eats everything!

Several residents, family members and even volunteers bring him treats and many residents keep treats and bones in their apartments for when he comes to visit.  Everyone always stops to interact with Yogi and even residents with moderate cognitive decline can remember the playful pup’s name.  Yogi attends every ice cream social, party and musical performance at Morning Pointe and always receives so much love from everyone.

Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based senior healthcare services company, develops and manages 25 Morning Pointe® Senior Living and Lantern Alzheimer’s/Memory Care Center of Excellence communities in five southeastern states including locations in Chattanooga, Hixson and Lenoir City. IHP was founded in 1996 by regional healthcare entrepreneurs, Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow. For more information, please visitwww.morningpointe.com.