Friday, June 12, 2020

Pet Therapy Alzheimer's & Dementia

Want unconditional love? get a dog, a cat, or a four-legged pet. We all know the benefits of having a pet under normal circumstances, but when it comes to Memory impairment, it's almost magical, the many benefits of pet therapy in patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia are many. Do your homework when looking for a dog for this specific purpose. If you are looking for a companion dog, you really don't want a puppy. Like I said, do your homework!

For our loved ones with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia owning a pet provides them with endless love and devotion in it's the purest form. It's amazing how attitudes change, the joy that they can bring to a person that suffers from AD and Dementia is unmeasurable. It decreases their stress, anxiety, and depression. It also aids in reducing agitation and negative behaviors, they can ease the feelings of loneliness. They are great aids in boosting physical activity, as fido, has to go out for walks. Depending on what stage of the disease the person is in a dog can be used as a tool to provide them with a sense of purpose; if the person is in the early stages the dog can be a huge asset to incorporate it into an activity. The dog has to be walked, fed, and groomed let's no forget the cleanup.
From what I have experienced dogs are very intuitive to people's emotions, as it has been well documented they can sense when humans are in trouble health-wise I mean. It has been known that they can smell cancer, they can sense a heart attack coming,  or seizures. I used to have a neighbor that suffered from diabetes and when his blood sugars would drop, his dog would start pacing, crying, and trying to get his attention way before he would be in serious trouble.

Realistically, I would consider a dachshund, American Crocker Spaniel, Scottish Terrier, Border terrier, or my all-time favorite a labrador a gentle, older (not too old) dog is the perfect companion for a senior with Alzheimer's disease or Dementia, actually even if they don't have memory impairments, the benefits that animals bring to their life are endless therefore increasing the quality of life of the Senior involved. As a friend of mine says; "I don't know if I trained the dog, or the dog trained me" Lol.



Do your homework, you know your loved one. Maybe a dog is not the best pet for them. then you might consider a bird or a few plants. The goal here is giving them a sense of purpose, keeping them engaged and focused on tasks that give them a sense of pride and satisfaction. As humans, we have a need to be productive in any way that we can be, and we all deserve a good quality of life.

There is a lot of information out there on the web, regarding Pet Therapy, Plant Therapy, and many others.

Be Informed, Be Prepared, Be Empowered.
As always sending you positive energy!
With gratitude
A.
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