This woman’s father has Alzheimer’s and has sadly lost almost all of his speech. But when she brings her dog over to see him, he acts like a whole different person. The dog brings out the best in him and helps him speak again. It’s truly amazing to watch!
“Oh yeah, hey! You’ve got something. You’ve got something, huh?” the man says to the dog who has a bone in his mouth. “Yeah well, that’s too bad. That’s all I’ve got. Why don’t I take care of you and you take care of me?”
The dog is wagging his tail a mile a minute as the man pets him. He then lays on the floor for some belly rubs. The dog loves the man just as much as the man loves the dog! It’s obvious that these two share a very special bond.
Many studies have shown that pets offer many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and heart rate, reducing stress, and boosting levels of serotonin – a hormone that makes us feel good. Spending time with a pet can also help with anxiety and depression, which is why many therapy dogs visit hospitals, assisted living homes, and hospice care.
According to Kathleen Allen, LCSW C-ASWCM, a dog’s presence can help reduce the effects of dementia—anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, and loneliness. By their friendliness and gentle demeanor, dogs can help a dementia patient be more interactive, when they sometimes are unable to communicate in social settings with other adults.
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