The Power of Paws on Persons with Dementia

A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.” – Dr. Edward Creagan, Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

We are working with a dog training group called Sit means Sit to provide a new program for persons in the early stage  of Alzheimer’s and their care partners.

Many studies have shown that the use of a therapy dog with persons with AD has resulted in increased socialization (Batson, McCabe, Baun, & Wilson, 1998; Churchill, Safaoui, McCabe, & Baun, 1999),
Improved social behaviors (Kongable, Stolley, & Buckwalter, 1990) and decreased agitation (Churchill et al., 1999).
Persons with AD who were residents of a private home had fewer episodes of verbal aggression and anxiety and fewer mood disorders when they had regular contact with a companion animal (Fritz, Farver, Kass, & Hart, 1995).

In this six week program families bring their dogs for obedience training and build on the strengths of the person with the disease. Our aim is to foster a sense of  purpose and self-worth.  We hope this program can be a bridge to more socialization with others, lowered stress, mental stimulation and a renewed interest in life.

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IMG_0405Untitled-2– Ann Marie McDonald, Programs Officer, Alzheimer’s Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-paws-persons-dementia-ann-marie-mcdonald

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter (www.alz.org/texas) consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.