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The Psychological Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy on Elderly Nursing Home Patients

By Sophia M. Elliott

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This literature review of the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is centered on four scholarly articles published in major psychological journals discussing the reduction of loneliness, anxiety, depression, and cognitive impairments as well as the increase in well-being and happiness in the elderly nursing- home population. Many time these residents are abandoned by family and experience little- to- no interaction with others due to understaffing at these homes. My goal through this literature review was to bring attention to an alternative form of therapy for these patients. Often patients grow sick from depression and lose their sense of self-worth but, with the addition of AAT in their daily lives, they can have something to look forward to as well as someone that is really looking forward to keeping them company. This therapy has substantial amounts of psychological and cognitive benefits as discussed in this review, and I believe that this is a new and innovative way to support our growing elderly population in the next stage of their lives.


Katie Carroll

Date 2015
Pages 21
Publisher The University of Akron
Department Psychology
Degree Bachelor of Arts
Language English
University The University of Akron
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Animal roles
  3. Cognitive disorders
  4. Depression
  5. Health
  6. Loneliness
  7. Long-term care facilities
  8. Mammals
  9. Mental health and well-being
  10. Nursing homes
  11. Older adults
  12. Pets and companion animals
  13. therapy animals