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Animal assisted activities for geriatric patients

By Heather N. Steed, Barbara S. Smith

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Abstract

Older individuals may experience decreased quality of life and increased stress related to life transitions. These include change of residences, the loss of a spouse and/or personal possessions. With these transitions, a decline in physical and emotional health may occur due to social isolation, loss of independence, institutionalization, and family breakdown. Studies that use animal assisted activities were evaluated for the effectiveness of improving various parameters in the geriatric population undergoing these transitions. Interactions with animals decreased blood pressure and heart rate, decreased depression, and increased life satisfaction. Animal assisted activities appear to improve the quality of life of aging individuals. Future research should focus on outcomes of using different types of animals and the amount of time spent with the animals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Publication Title Activities, Adaptation & Aging
Volume 27
Issue 1
Pages 49-61
ISBN/ISSN 0192-47881544-4368
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1300/J016v27n01_04
Author Address Smith, Barbara S., Physical Therapy Dept, Wichita State U , Wichita, KS, US, 67260-0043, Barb.Smith@wichita.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Geriatrics
  4. Life experiences
  5. Life transition
  6. peer-reviewed
  7. Quality of life
  8. Stress
  9. treatment effectiveness
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  1. peer-reviewed