Good morning and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Today I’m going to share some points about the benefits of pets for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Walk into many long-term care facilities these days, and one of the first things that you might see is a dog, one that is often flopped down at the feet of a resident in the main area of the facility. The dog looks as comfortable and relaxed as could be, and so too, does the resident.
Whether it’s a big floppy dog, a bird, a cat, or even a fish aquarium, the benefits of having a pet for one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia are numerous. Pets bring great benefits to all of us—companionship, unconditional love, and fun. By their very nature, pets do not judge, and they are not critical. And for someone with dementia, those qualities make them a good companion. Their very presence can help reduce the effects of dementia—anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, and loneliness. By their friendliness and non-threatening way, pets can help a dementia patient be more interactive, when sometimes they are not able to do so in social settings with other adults.
There are some considerations to remember when it comes to a pet at home though. Four footed pets can be tripping hazards for the elderly, so that must be considered. And if the person with Alzheimer’s cannot remember to feed the pet, someone else must be sure to do so. The same is true for keeping up with licenses, grooming, and shots.
Wherever the setting, and whatever the kind of animal, the magic of a favorite pet remains. They can make a big difference in the daily life of one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
If you would like more information, please visit our website at www.alzpb.org or call the ACRC at 561-588-4545. Thanks for watching and we will see you next week.