After twenty years of working with older adults I can make at least one conclusive statement: “there is nothing like a child or furry pet to bring a smile to someone.” While we have all probably witnessed the wonderful interaction between a child or pet and an older adult, we may not have stopped to try and understand how this happens.
My speculation is that a child and a pet are both fun and promote a sense of happiness, a moment away from a stressful day or life. Both are dependent to a large degree and need us to provide thereby giving us a role. Both like a good hug and a good hug can be good medicine. Both promote laughter another great medicine. Perhaps most important both provide love, sometimes unconditional and they also permit us to share our love with them.
Imagine if would distill these wonderful ingredients into a liquid and take our daily glass of love, smiles, and laughter. At all ages, we simply need to take some time during the day to interact with a child or a furry pet and forget about the stress of the day.