All dog lovers already know the sacred power of dogs and that is their ability to make us feel happy and loved, but a new research has shown that this positive puppy effect can also be applied in therapeutic purposes and a medical setting.
It appears that the fluffy power of dog, as well as other pets, is becoming a useful tool when it comes to the treatment of various medical conditions and disorders, especially the ones regarding mental health.
Dogs Vs. Dementia
Over the years, dogs have participated in numerous visiting programs in living centers for elderly people, and though the main purpose of this interaction was to lift the spirits of those elderly folk living in homes, Alzheimer’s experts realized that more could be done via these structured animal-assisted intervention programs.
A recent research conducted in Germany involved a six-months-long program in which dogs visited 17 nursing home residents who had mild or severe cases of dementia, and the outcome showed this type of activity can indeed improve social behaviors in elderly people suffering from dementia.
The participants of these therapy sessions showed ‘improved verbal communication function and greater attentiveness,’ while the group of patients who participated in similar group activities without therapy dogs showed less positive results.
Their reports say that dementia patients displayed fewer symptoms of so-called sundown syndrome.
Sundown Syndrome is a ‘distressing condition associated with dementia which happens in the early evening period and involves behaviors such as restlessness, confusion, wandering, hitting and kicking.’
The experiment revealed that having therapy dogs as their company distracted the patients in a positive manner and also seemed to relax them.
Never underestimate the power of The Fluffy.