Pets and Dementia

Pet Therapy at Luncarty House

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Residents at Luncarty regularly enjoy visits from our four legged friends, we feel this has a positive experience for their all round wellbeing and they look forward to the visits with anticipation.

Animals, by their very “nature” are non-judgmental, making them the perfect therapists and companions for individuals with dementia. They can provide a tremendous source of social support and unconditional love.

People with dementia recognise a pet in the environment as friendly and non-threatening. When they have a pet with them they display more interactive behaviours, although these behaviors are often directed toward the pet rather than their human companions.

Dogs have proven to reduce agitation and increase pleasure just by their presence. They also have the ability to increase the amount of physical activity a resident participates in. Depending on the mobility of the patient, they may be able to engage in playful activities with the dog, take it on a short walk, or simply take the time and effort to groom the animal.

It has even been shown that residents with dementia eat more following the visit of a therapy animal. Many individuals with Alzheimer’s, who respond to little or nothing else in their environment, will respond to the non-threatening presence of a gentle therapy animal. An animal also provides a natural and easy conversation topic for residents with dementia.

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.