Pet Therapy

1427 Words Apr 6th, 2011 6 Pages
Pet Therapy What is Pet Therapy? Pet Therapy is an area that has received increased attention in therapeutic recreation. In recent years, the experts have been relying on pet therapy as a valuable aid in reaching out to the elderly, the infirm, and to ill or abused children through-out the country.” Pet Therapy is the commonly used term for animal-assisted therapy (AAT), animal-assisted activities (AAA) and pet visitation.” It is also recognized at hospitals around the country as a great way to help children cope with the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalization. Pet Therapy is a general term that encompasses many therapeutic activities involving animals as companions or occasional visitors to the sick, elderly, or …show more content…
Levinson discovered that he could make significant progress during the treatment of a disturbed child when his dog Jingles was also present during the sessions. (HistoryofAAT) For example, a child recovering from a traumatic brain injury experiences considerable difficulty dressing and grooming him/herself due to the loss of function in one arm. The therapist may ask the child to reach out with the weak arm to pet, brush or even feed the dog. The therapist may add a wrist weight to the weak arm in order to develop strength, or use an adapted brush with a special handle to assist the child in holding the brush. The child becomes motivated and excited to participate in treatment; thus helping to achieve treatment goals quicker and easier. An article on essortment.com, tells a story about an Alzheimer's patient that responded to pet therapy. These patients tend to get agitated at night, a well known condition called "sun downing". Lack of sunlight tends to naturally depress people as the darkness sets in. With the dementia, and the feeling of being unaware, the senior adult will often respond to the comforting presence of a pet even if they don't respond well to other treatments. How Does Pet Therapy Work? Pet owners might have different personalities than people who do not own pets. An interesting and varied daily life
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