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A Review of Animal-Assisted Interventions in Long-Term Care Facilities

By Jenna Ebener, Hunhui Oh

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Past research fails to make connections comparing appropriate settings for the benefits of different species of therapy and resident animals in long-term care facilities specifically for the elderly. Two types of animal-assisted interactions (therapy and resident) and four animal species (birds, cats, dogs, and fish) were compared. The findings were sorted into five categories of benefits (behavioral, mental, physical, physiological, and social) and three additional structural variables (affordability, accessibility, and cons). Appropriate activities for each species were also suggested. The review revealed it is important for the facility to consider its budget, number and ailments of residents, type of preferred accessibility, and preferred goal. By being aware of different characteristics of each animal species, such as benefits and affordability, facilities would be able to make an informed decision when considering which animal-assisted intervention would be an appropriate fit for their residents.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2017
Publication Title Activities, Adaptation & Aging
Volume 41
Issue 2
Pages 107-128
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/01924788.2017.1306380
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01924788.2017.1306380
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jenna Ebener; Hunhui Oh (2018), "A Review of Animal-Assisted Interventions in Long-Term Care Facilities," https://habricentral.org/resources/62673.

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  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Benefits
  4. Long-term care facilities
  5. Nursing homes
  6. Older adults
  7. Resident animals
  8. therapy animals