Can Coastal Georgia Seniors with Alzheimers Benefit from Pet Therapy?

Alzheimer’s Resources Savannah GA – Can your loved one benefit from pet therapy?

Savannah Senior HealthAlzheimer’s Resources for Georgia Seniors.

Alzheimer’s is a disease weighing heavily on Coastal Georgia Seniors. Few of us have not been affected when Alzheimer’s strikes a family member, friend, or former co-worker. The disease is a progressive, generally slow on-set, neurological disorder. Over time it brings increased cognitive dysfunction  exhibiting as memory loss or confusion. Other common manifestations include agitation, aggression, wandering, incontinence, and inadverdent vocalizations are common. These can be difficult on the patient and on loved ones. This intensifies as Alzheimer’s progresses.

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There is hope for Coastal Georgia seniors affected by Alzheimer’s – and their family members. Drug treatments have been promising in providing alleviation of behavioral issues and slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s in Coastal Empire seniors. There are some non pharmacologic therapies that have been effective as well – including the use of companion animals with Coastal Georgia Alzheimer’s patients.

Therapy dogs are particularly affective (a number of Savannah facilities frequently use therapy dogs) and there is a need for more and more trained therapy dogs for working with Coastal Georgia seniors.  Benefits include:

  • Increased socialization for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Improved Social Behaviors in those dealing with Alzheimer’s
  • Decreased Agitation for those with dementia

When a therapy dog is introduced in a Georgia Alzheimer’s facility, reported benefits include a decreased number of behavioral concerns (over a prolonged study period). Coastal Georgia Alzheimer’s patients who live in a private home and receive pet therapy are likely to exhibit decreased verbal aggession, lowered anxiety levels, and a decrease in mood disorders. In addition Savannah Alzheimer’s patients receiving pet therapy typically show increased nutritional intake in facilities in which visible aquariums are introduced in the dining rooms. This leads to healthy weight gain among the residents.

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Studies on Alzheimer’s patients and pet therapy are ongoing and show great promise. Based on current research, it certainly is worth trying to integrate an aquarium and visits from a companion animal in your Coastal Georgia Alzheimer’s patients treatment. As always, do consult your treating physician for advice and recommendations.

We hope you have enjoyed today’s feature article, Alzheimer’s Resources Savannah GA – Can your loved one benefit from pet therapy?

References:

  1. Increased socialization of Alzheimer’s patients who work with therapy dogs: (Batson, McCabe, Baun, & Wilson, 1998; Churchill, Safaoui, McCabe, & Baun, 1999),
  2. Improved social behaviors in Alzheimer’s patients who work with therapy dogs.  (Kongable, Stolley, & Buckwalter, 1990)
  3. Decreased agitation (Churchill et al., 1999).
  4. Weight gain following aquarium installation (Edwards & Beck, 2002)

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