The sensory and perceptive world of dogs is entirely different than that of humans. Dogs live in the moment, are incredibly willing to give and seek attention, and don’t carry the burden of difficult neurotic emotions.

If you ever doubted that dogs are admirable healers, here is the most recent proof.

Can a Dog Help a Person with Dementia?

A study about AAT (animal-assisted therapy) including dogs, of course, showed that dog helped patients with dementia, especially those with Alzheimer’s, to battle anxiety, depression, and aggression. Dogs cooperated with trained health practitioners to provide comfort and company to dementia-suffering patients.

The Toll of Dementia on Patients and Caretakers

Dementia and its sudden or gradual loss of the mental, physical, and emotional capabilities are as devastating to the patient as to the closest people who need to take care of them. Even a caretaker such as a nurse that is not a member of the nearest family or friends can get attached to the pain and feel the strain of the emotional labor while taking care of a patient.

Often, a bond develops, and careless relating is impossible: not careless as negligent, but rather careless as carefree. A dog’s happy and carefree attitude is just what a forgetful person with deteriorating health needs.

Anti-dementia Therapy Session with Dogs

The dogs that gave a therapy session to the dementia study participants helped them to:

  • Increase physical activity
  • Relieve the sundown syndrome
  • Improve short-term memory
  • Improve communication
  • Enhance appetite and eating habits
  • Reduce loneliness

If there is a larger portion of research money that goes studying dogs, many patients will ditch their pills in favor of hairy companions.   

The Future of Illness and Dog Assistance

But there are promising developments about the therapeutic nature of dog companionship, both for physical and mental health. Hanging with dogs can:

If we know how to communicate with dogs, we have greater chances of living longer, happier lives.

Featured image by Ryan Stone on Unsplash

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