Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia | HABRI

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia


Research has indicated that the human-animal bond can play an important role in improving the quality of life for the Alzheimer’s sufferer as well as their immediate network of caregivers.

Reduction of aggression and agitation

Therapy dogs can be trained to assist those with Alzheimer’s Disease in day-to-day tasks. Here, a dog from Dementia Dog fetches a woman’s medication. Photo: Dementia Dog

  • Therapeutic recreation AAT intervention can decrease the agitated behaviors and increase the social interactions of persons with dementia[1]

Improvements in Nutrition

  • One study of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after the introduction of an aquarium into the facility documented a higher food intake and weight gain, and a reduced requirement of nutritional supplementation.[2]

Promotion of Social Behavior

  • The presence of a companion animal can also benefit caregivers through reducing their physiological stress[3]
  • AAA has shown to improve awareness and communication skills of elderly patients with dementia during the activity[4]

Animal-assisted interventions, including equine-assisted psychotherapy, have been demonstrated to improve outcomes for those with depression. Photo: EAGALA

Increasing Quality of Life

  • Dog-assisted therapy has been shown to improve mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life in elderly dementia patients living in residential aged care facilities[5]

Reduction of Depression

  • Pet therapy is efficient in improving depressive symptoms and cognitive function in residents of long-term care facilities with mental illness[6]

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