Dogs and Alzheimer’s

It’s becoming increasingly common to walk into an aged care facility that deals with people that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and find one or more dogs on the facility. The reason is because science indicates that the dogs are an important part of the treatment process.

At this point, no one fully understand why people suffering from Alzheimer’s have such a positive reaction to dogs and other animals. What is known is that when the animal enters the person’s life, even if it’s just for a few moments, the individual exhibits an increase in interactive behaviour. Some centres report that after spending time with a dog or cat, people have an increased appetite.
Some programs have trained Alzheimer’s support dogs that help people navigate the facility and perform basic functions they weren’t able to manage on their own prior to being paired with a canine companion.

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