Essay The Effect of Dog Assisted Therapy on Elderly Patients with Dementia

Essay The Effect of Dog Assisted Therapy on Elderly Patients with Dementia

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  The US Census in 2000 has reported that, during the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century there has been a large increase in the number of elderly people living in the United States of America, which will likely result in an increased incidence of dementia. In recent years, dog-assisted therapy has been widely regarded as a generally accepted method of providing elderly residents with good feelings and an increase in self-maintenance behavior. The aim of this study is to examine the psychological and behavioral effects of dog-assisted therapy on elderly residents with dementia. I predict that dog-assisted therapy will help elderly people with dementia with their behavioral and emotional problems such as aggression, agitation and psychosis.
   Several studies have examined the effects of dog ownership on people's physical and mental health. Dog ownership produces considerable health benefit and provides social support that encourages dog owners to walk (Cutt et al.2007 ). Pet owners appear to have lower systolic blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels(Anderson et al 1992). Pet owners with serious mental illness living in the community demonstrate higher social community integration(Zimalog and Krupa 2009). Socially excluded participants who performed in the presence of a dog report higher mental well-being compared with socially excluded participants who did not work in the presence of a dog (Nilüfer et al 2012). Although there is evidence suggesting that dog ownership can improve people's physical and mental health, there is little research documenting the psychological and behavioral effects of dog-assisted therapy, especially on elderly patients with dementia, who have dif...

... middle of paper ... Cutt, Hayley, Billie Giles-Corti, Matthew Knuiman, Valerie Burke. “Dog Ownership, Health and PhysicalActivity:ACritical Review of the Literature.” Health & Place 13.1 (2007): 261-272.

Nilüfer Aydina,Joachim I. Kruegerb, Julia Fischera, Dana Hahna, Andreas Kastenmüllerc,

Dieter Freya, Peter Fischer “Man's Best Friend: How the Presence of a Dog Reduces Mental

Distress After Social Exclusion.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 48.1 (2012): 446-449.

Vann Madeline “How Animal Therapy Helps Dementia Patients” Everyday Health Blog, (2010). s.asp Zimolag, Ulrike and Terry Krupa. “Pet Ownership as a Meaningful Community Occupation for People with Serious Mental Illness.” American Journal of Occupational Therapy 63.2

(2009): 126-137.

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