Furry Friends Of Sunrise: Molly Rae

Megan Ray  |  September 23, 2013

Anybody who has spent time with dogs knows what impact they can have on your mental state. If you're feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, just a few minutes with a four-legged friend can turn your whole outlook around. So it should come as no surprise that canine companions have become an important part of senior living for older adults around the country, and the house pet at Sunrise of Schaumburg is sure to charm even the most reluctant of residents.

Molly Rae has been at Sunrise of Schaumburg since she was just 12 weeks old, and she's come a long way since then. Although she was originally a rambunctious, undisciplined golden retriever puppy, today she is a 2-year-old with considerable self control who manages to perfectly read the moods of the retirement community's residents. Molly's status as a full-time resident has made her a routine part of life for residents, and she has undoubtedly had a positive impact on their well-being, whether she's cheering up someone who's feeling blue or simply greeting seniors once they wake up in the morning.

To see just how important Molly is to the residents at Sunrise of Schaumburg, you need look no further than what happened when she ran into knee problems last fall and winter. She was out of the community for long stretches, and nary a day would go by without the residents asking about how she was doing. 

Molly's role at Sunrise of Schaumburg is more than just a novelty, however, given that depression and loneliness are especially prevalent among the senior population. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 6.5 million adults 65 and older struggle with symptoms of depression, which can raise their risk of disease, disability and numerous other health issues.