Animal Assisted Therapy

2445 words (10 pages) Essay

5th May 2017 Health And Social Care Reference this

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The man-animal bond has existed since time immemorial and has always been a beautiful one. Keeping a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience and has many advantages.

Animal therapy, also called Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), consists of a wide range of activities and a diverse group of animals that are able to help. [Animal therapy, also called Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), is a blanket term for a wide range of activities, good-for-you benefits, and a diverse group of animals that are able to help.] 7

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This process is a goal directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. [Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is a goal directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process] 7

Dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, horses, dolphins, elephants and birds have calming effect on humans [However, rabbits, fish, horses, dolphins, elephants, birds, and lizards can also be considered calming, as well as other small animals]. 6

Programs involving these types of animals are being introduced into the therapeutic regimens of many health care institutions: nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric institutions and even correctional facilities [3]. [Companion animals are being introduced into the therapeutic regimens of many health care institutions: nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric instiutions and others] 2

Therapeutic horse riding programs have been proven to increase the strength and stability of physically and mentally challenged individuals. The repetitive motion of sitting on the horse is known to help balance and coordination and thus improve the motor skills. This is also known as equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) [2]. [horse therapies have been proven to increase the strength and stability of physically and mentally challenged individuals. Specifically, horse AAT therapy is called equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP)] 6

Fish tanks, seen in restaurants, homes, doctor’s offices, in shopping malls and aquariums are larger than life stress relievers. [Fish tanks have long been seen in restaurants, homes, doctor’s offices, in shopping malls, and aquariums are larger than life stress relievers] 6

Dolphin therapy started in the 1970s in Florida as a way to motivate children with Down syndrome. [. Dolphin therapy started in the 1970s in Florida as a way to motivate children with Down syndrome.] 6

A marine biologist Amanda Green says that dolphins use their underwater sonar waves as a healing process to boost T-cells in humans. “Many therapists believe that a dolphin’s sonar causes a phenomenon called ‘cavitation’ inside the soft body tissue of the human body. It precipitates a ripping apart of the molecules [6]. [A marine biologist Amanda Green, says that research is currently being done to support this but new hospital methods are offering technology that acts like sonar, “Many therapists believe that a dolphin’s sonar causes a phenomenon called ‘cavitation’ inside the soft body tissue of the human body.] 6

Pets also help inmates in correctional facilities and juvenile offenders to learn empathy and compassion [2]. [Pets help inmates in correctional facilities and juvenile offenders to learn empathy and compassion.] 2

Pets have proved to be great stress busters. Gazing at fish swimming lazily in the aquarium soothes one’s nerves and reduces stress.

The physical contact of petting an animal is relaxing and studies have shown that it helps lower blood pressure.[ Medical studies and clinical research show that a therapy dog can not only have medical benefits – such as stress relief, or lower blood pressure]

Since dogs and cats are the most common household pets, it should be no surprise that cuddling with them can provide a calm and soothing relief. [Since dogs and cats are the most common household pets, no one should be surprised that cuddling with your little friends can provide a calm and soothing relief.] 6

While dolphins and horses have important physical and emotional benefits, they cannot live inside the house. Dogs can! Dogs that are specially trained to work with the disabled persons offer many different services. They can guide people who are visually impaired, alert people who are hearing impaired to specific sounds, get help when a person has a seizure, as well as retrieve dropped items, open doors, and assist the person with postural balance. [1] [They can guide people who are visually impaired, alert people who are hearing impaired to specific sounds, get help when a person has a seizure, as well as retrieve dropped items, open doors, and assist the person with balance. ] 1

“Dogs also provide companionship that is critical to the development of children with disabilities,” says Elcock [1]. [“A variety of programs nationwide use animals to assist children with chronic illness and disabilities,” notes Maryellen Elcock, Ph.D] 1

Perhaps the most well-known method of animal assisted therapy is used with dogs. Besides dogs being wonderful companions and helpful to the blind, trained dogs are brought to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in order to bring joy [2]. 

Just the simple act of spending time with a dog, and the exercise involved with petting and walking with a dog helps patients and the elderly exert themselves physically. [Just the simple act of spending time with a dog, and the exercise involved with petting and walking with a dog helps patients and the elderly exert themselves physically] 6

Within the first hour of spending time with a dog, a person’s blood pressure is known to drop, mental function improves, and smiles often show up. Certain trained dogs are able to help patients with their wheelchair abilities and memory problems. Loneliness can be curbed by spending time with a friendly animal. [Within the first hour of spending time with a dog, a person’s blood pressure is known to drop, mental function improves, and smiles often show up. Certain trained dogs are able to assist patients with their wheelchair abilities, cognitive function, memory problems, and some patients even adopt maternal instincts while interacting with the animals. Loneliness can be curbed by spending time with a friendly animal and some think cats can also provide such love.] 6

Animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy applies one of the strongest benefits of the human-animal bond – the power to heal. Many organizations are associated with these activities. Canine Assistants is a Georgia-based organization that trains dogs to help children and adults across the country with physical disabilities resulting from muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, automobile accidents and other causes. [Canine Assistants is a Georgia-based organization that trains dogs – primarily labradors and golden retrievers – to help children and adults across the country with physical disabilities resulting from muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, automobile accidents and other causes] 1

These dogs can do some remarkable tasks for their disabled handlers. They can turn lights on and even open doors. “Once they go home with a participant, they can build on the skills they have learned and accomplish even more specific tasks – even helping with the laundry or making a bed”, says Kellie Mann, programs coordinator for Canine Assistants [1]. [Once they go home with a participant, they can build on the skills they have learned and accomplish even more specific tasks – even helping with the laundry or making a bed, says Kellie Mann, programs coordinator for Canine Assistants. ]

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1

The therapeutic potential and spiritual qualities of companion animals have long been recognized from the Ancient Egyptians who worshipped cats, even mummifying them and burying them in sacred vaults along the River Nile, to the Ancient Greeks who kept healing dogs in their temples. [Ancient Egyptians who worshipped cats, even mummifying them and burying them in sacred vaults along the River Nile, to the Ancient Greeks who kept healing dogs in their temples] 3

Florence Nightingale was one of the first people to advocate the benefits of companion animals for the chronically sick. [Florence Nightingale was one of the first people to advocate the benefits of companion animals for the chronically sick] 3

American child psychologist Boris Levinson is the first person to be credited with the formal use of animals in AAT within a clinical field in 1962. 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. [3] 

Kids and animals are natural companions. For children with disabilities, that companionship can also include invaluable physical and emotional therapy. Whether it’s strengthening muscles through horseback riding, feeling motivated to improve while swimming with dolphins or gaining confidence with the help and companionship of a service dog, kids with disabilities can benefit from many different kinds of animals.

Animals offer all children the chance to connect to another living being, says Dr. Abhaey Kripalani, Secretary, Minds and Souls Rehabilitation and Research Foundation on Children with Disabilities. But for kids with disabilities, animals can also provide invaluable therapy, he says. Riding a horse, for example, can help a child physically strengthen his or her muscles while also serving as recreation that builds self-esteem [1]. 

Dr. Anjana Maitra, in her book: Pet Therapy: A New Healing Concept: states that 92% patients hospitalized in coronary care units for angina or heart attack found that those who owned pets were more likely to be alive a year later than those who did not. The study found that only 6% of patients who owned pets died within a year compared with 28% of those who did not own pets. 9

In Thrive, Volume 2, Issue 9, July 2008, “A Four-Legged Cure”, Heather Grimshaw states that researchers around the world have shown a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved health. [Researchers around the world have shown a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved health] 4

From increased survival rates after heart attacks and surgery to reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, pet ownership may not just improve mental and physical health, it may actually extend a person’s life [4]. 

According to a case report, the use of AAA highlights a Labrador Retriever named Murphy who helped a four year old child with cerebral palsy take her first steps. As the child took slow steps forward, Murphy would respond by taking steps backward, thereby motivating the child to continue taking steps. The child was able to take four steps for the first time in her life [5].

A study of middle-aged schizophrenic patients showed improvement in adaptive functioning during AAT program. 5

An ‘Independent Living Skills’ tool was then used to rate patients’ behaviors. It was found that patients’ health, domestic activities, and social skills improved significantly. [4] [An Independent Living Skills tool was then used to rate patients’ behaviors] 5

Edward Creagan, MD, a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has encouraged oncology patients to get pets for the last 30 years. “Studies suggest that pets can do more than keep you young at heart,” he said during an educational summit called ‘PAWSitive InterAction’ in Atlanta. “They can help keep your heart-and the rest of you-younger and healthier.” [Edward Creagan, MD, a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has encouraged oncology patients to get pets for the last 30 years. “Studies suggest that pets can do more than keep you young at heart,” he said during an educational summit called PAWSitive InterAction in Atlanta. “They can help keep your heart-and the rest of you-younger and healthier.”] 4

To support his recommendations, Creagan cited studies, which show that pet owners are four times more likely to live a full year after surviving a heart attack than non-owners. In the study cited, 28 percent of the patients without pets died before one year. [4] [To support his recommendations, Creagan cited studies, which show that pet owners are four times more likely to live a full year after surviving a heart attack than non-owners. In the study cited, 28 percent of the patients without pets died before the one-year mark] 4

A wellness program involving animal health, human health and environmental concerns should be done for animals participating in AAA and AAT. All animals involved in this therapeutic work should be healthy and of good temperament. Animals should be closely monitored for signs of stress. They also undergo periodic behavioral assessment and if needed, participate in behavior monitoring and rehabilitation program. Optimal environment should be provided to all animals in the form of toys, regular walks or grooming. Good veterinary care should be provided to all the involved animals.[7] [Animal assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and resident animal programs should be governed by basic standards, be regularly monitored, and be staffed by appropriately trained personnel.] 7

Pet assisted therapy is a tremendous tool in improving patient communication, self esteem, physical movement, mood and sociability. [ Studies have shown that pet assisted therapy is a tremendous tool in improving patient communication, cognitive function, self esteem, physical movement, mood and sociability] 8

Many children will have disabilities for the rest of their lives, but working with animals can give them the motivation, physical therapy, comfort, companionship and confidence that often lead to real progress in their abilities. [Many children will have disabilities for the rest of their lives, but working with animals can give them the motivation, physical therapy, comfort, companionship and confidence that often leads to real progress in their abilities] 1

The use of animal-assisted therapy has grown tremendously in recent times, particularly in the United States, where there are more than 2,000 programs [3]. 

The man-animal bond has existed since time immemorial and has always been a beautiful one. Keeping a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience and has many advantages.

Animal therapy, also called Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), consists of a wide range of activities and a diverse group of animals that are able to help. [Animal therapy, also called Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), is a blanket term for a wide range of activities, good-for-you benefits, and a diverse group of animals that are able to help.] 7

This process is a goal directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. [Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is a goal directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process] 7

Dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, horses, dolphins, elephants and birds have calming effect on humans [However, rabbits, fish, horses, dolphins, elephants, birds, and lizards can also be considered calming, as well as other small animals]. 6

Programs involving these types of animals are being introduced into the therapeutic regimens of many health care institutions: nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric institutions and even correctional facilities [3]. [Companion animals are being introduced into the therapeutic regimens of many health care institutions: nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric instiutions and others] 2

Therapeutic horse riding programs have been proven to increase the strength and stability of physically and mentally challenged individuals. The repetitive motion of sitting on the horse is known to help balance and coordination and thus improve the motor skills. This is also known as equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) [2]. [horse therapies have been proven to increase the strength and stability of physically and mentally challenged individuals. Specifically, horse AAT therapy is called equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP)] 6

Fish tanks, seen in restaurants, homes, doctor’s offices, in shopping malls and aquariums are larger than life stress relievers. [Fish tanks have long been seen in restaurants, homes, doctor’s offices, in shopping malls, and aquariums are larger than life stress relievers] 6

Dolphin therapy started in the 1970s in Florida as a way to motivate children with Down syndrome. [. Dolphin therapy started in the 1970s in Florida as a way to motivate children with Down syndrome.] 6

A marine biologist Amanda Green says that dolphins use their underwater sonar waves as a healing process to boost T-cells in humans. “Many therapists believe that a dolphin’s sonar causes a phenomenon called ‘cavitation’ inside the soft body tissue of the human body. It precipitates a ripping apart of the molecules [6]. [A marine biologist Amanda Green, says that research is currently being done to support this but new hospital methods are offering technology that acts like sonar, “Many therapists believe that a dolphin’s sonar causes a phenomenon called ‘cavitation’ inside the soft body tissue of the human body.] 6

Pets also help inmates in correctional facilities and juvenile offenders to learn empathy and compassion [2]. [Pets help inmates in correctional facilities and juvenile offenders to learn empathy and compassion.] 2

Pets have proved to be great stress busters. Gazing at fish swimming lazily in the aquarium soothes one’s nerves and reduces stress.

The physical contact of petting an animal is relaxing and studies have shown that it helps lower blood pressure.[ Medical studies and clinical research show that a therapy dog can not only have medical benefits – such as stress relief, or lower blood pressure]

Since dogs and cats are the most common household pets, it should be no surprise that cuddling with them can provide a calm and soothing relief. [Since dogs and cats are the most common household pets, no one should be surprised that cuddling with your little friends can provide a calm and soothing relief.] 6

While dolphins and horses have important physical and emotional benefits, they cannot live inside the house. Dogs can! Dogs that are specially trained to work with the disabled persons offer many different services. They can guide people who are visually impaired, alert people who are hearing impaired to specific sounds, get help when a person has a seizure, as well as retrieve dropped items, open doors, and assist the person with postural balance. [1] [They can guide people who are visually impaired, alert people who are hearing impaired to specific sounds, get help when a person has a seizure, as well as retrieve dropped items, open doors, and assist the person with balance. ] 1

“Dogs also provide companionship that is critical to the development of children with disabilities,” says Elcock [1]. [“A variety of programs nationwide use animals to assist children with chronic illness and disabilities,” notes Maryellen Elcock, Ph.D] 1

Perhaps the most well-known method of animal assisted therapy is used with dogs. Besides dogs being wonderful companions and helpful to the blind, trained dogs are brought to schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in order to bring joy [2]. 

Just the simple act of spending time with a dog, and the exercise involved with petting and walking with a dog helps patients and the elderly exert themselves physically. [Just the simple act of spending time with a dog, and the exercise involved with petting and walking with a dog helps patients and the elderly exert themselves physically] 6

Within the first hour of spending time with a dog, a person’s blood pressure is known to drop, mental function improves, and smiles often show up. Certain trained dogs are able to help patients with their wheelchair abilities and memory problems. Loneliness can be curbed by spending time with a friendly animal. [Within the first hour of spending time with a dog, a person’s blood pressure is known to drop, mental function improves, and smiles often show up. Certain trained dogs are able to assist patients with their wheelchair abilities, cognitive function, memory problems, and some patients even adopt maternal instincts while interacting with the animals. Loneliness can be curbed by spending time with a friendly animal and some think cats can also provide such love.] 6

Animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy applies one of the strongest benefits of the human-animal bond – the power to heal. Many organizations are associated with these activities. Canine Assistants is a Georgia-based organization that trains dogs to help children and adults across the country with physical disabilities resulting from muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, automobile accidents and other causes. [Canine Assistants is a Georgia-based organization that trains dogs – primarily labradors and golden retrievers – to help children and adults across the country with physical disabilities resulting from muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, automobile accidents and other causes] 1

These dogs can do some remarkable tasks for their disabled handlers. They can turn lights on and even open doors. “Once they go home with a participant, they can build on the skills they have learned and accomplish even more specific tasks – even helping with the laundry or making a bed”, says Kellie Mann, programs coordinator for Canine Assistants [1]. [Once they go home with a participant, they can build on the skills they have learned and accomplish even more specific tasks – even helping with the laundry or making a bed, says Kellie Mann, programs coordinator for Canine Assistants. ]

1

The therapeutic potential and spiritual qualities of companion animals have long been recognized from the Ancient Egyptians who worshipped cats, even mummifying them and burying them in sacred vaults along the River Nile, to the Ancient Greeks who kept healing dogs in their temples. [Ancient Egyptians who worshipped cats, even mummifying them and burying them in sacred vaults along the River Nile, to the Ancient Greeks who kept healing dogs in their temples] 3

Florence Nightingale was one of the first people to advocate the benefits of companion animals for the chronically sick. [Florence Nightingale was one of the first people to advocate the benefits of companion animals for the chronically sick] 3

American child psychologist Boris Levinson is the first person to be credited with the formal use of animals in AAT within a clinical field in 1962. 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. [3] 

Kids and animals are natural companions. For children with disabilities, that companionship can also include invaluable physical and emotional therapy. Whether it’s strengthening muscles through horseback riding, feeling motivated to improve while swimming with dolphins or gaining confidence with the help and companionship of a service dog, kids with disabilities can benefit from many different kinds of animals.

Animals offer all children the chance to connect to another living being, says Dr. Abhaey Kripalani, Secretary, Minds and Souls Rehabilitation and Research Foundation on Children with Disabilities. But for kids with disabilities, animals can also provide invaluable therapy, he says. Riding a horse, for example, can help a child physically strengthen his or her muscles while also serving as recreation that builds self-esteem [1]. 

Dr. Anjana Maitra, in her book: Pet Therapy: A New Healing Concept: states that 92% patients hospitalized in coronary care units for angina or heart attack found that those who owned pets were more likely to be alive a year later than those who did not. The study found that only 6% of patients who owned pets died within a year compared with 28% of those who did not own pets. 9

In Thrive, Volume 2, Issue 9, July 2008, “A Four-Legged Cure”, Heather Grimshaw states that researchers around the world have shown a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved health. [Researchers around the world have shown a direct correlation between pet ownership and improved health] 4

From increased survival rates after heart attacks and surgery to reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, pet ownership may not just improve mental and physical health, it may actually extend a person’s life [4]. 

According to a case report, the use of AAA highlights a Labrador Retriever named Murphy who helped a four year old child with cerebral palsy take her first steps. As the child took slow steps forward, Murphy would respond by taking steps backward, thereby motivating the child to continue taking steps. The child was able to take four steps for the first time in her life [5].

A study of middle-aged schizophrenic patients showed improvement in adaptive functioning during AAT program. 5

An ‘Independent Living Skills’ tool was then used to rate patients’ behaviors. It was found that patients’ health, domestic activities, and social skills improved significantly. [4] [An Independent Living Skills tool was then used to rate patients’ behaviors] 5

Edward Creagan, MD, a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has encouraged oncology patients to get pets for the last 30 years. “Studies suggest that pets can do more than keep you young at heart,” he said during an educational summit called ‘PAWSitive InterAction’ in Atlanta. “They can help keep your heart-and the rest of you-younger and healthier.” [Edward Creagan, MD, a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, has encouraged oncology patients to get pets for the last 30 years. “Studies suggest that pets can do more than keep you young at heart,” he said during an educational summit called PAWSitive InterAction in Atlanta. “They can help keep your heart-and the rest of you-younger and healthier.”] 4

To support his recommendations, Creagan cited studies, which show that pet owners are four times more likely to live a full year after surviving a heart attack than non-owners. In the study cited, 28 percent of the patients without pets died before one year. [4] [To support his recommendations, Creagan cited studies, which show that pet owners are four times more likely to live a full year after surviving a heart attack than non-owners. In the study cited, 28 percent of the patients without pets died before the one-year mark] 4

A wellness program involving animal health, human health and environmental concerns should be done for animals participating in AAA and AAT. All animals involved in this therapeutic work should be healthy and of good temperament. Animals should be closely monitored for signs of stress. They also undergo periodic behavioral assessment and if needed, participate in behavior monitoring and rehabilitation program. Optimal environment should be provided to all animals in the form of toys, regular walks or grooming. Good veterinary care should be provided to all the involved animals.[7] [Animal assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and resident animal programs should be governed by basic standards, be regularly monitored, and be staffed by appropriately trained personnel.] 7

Pet assisted therapy is a tremendous tool in improving patient communication, self esteem, physical movement, mood and sociability. [ Studies have shown that pet assisted therapy is a tremendous tool in improving patient communication, cognitive function, self esteem, physical movement, mood and sociability] 8

Many children will have disabilities for the rest of their lives, but working with animals can give them the motivation, physical therapy, comfort, companionship and confidence that often lead to real progress in their abilities. [Many children will have disabilities for the rest of their lives, but working with animals can give them the motivation, physical therapy, comfort, companionship and confidence that often leads to real progress in their abilities] 1

The use of animal-assisted therapy has grown tremendously in recent times, particularly in the United States, where there are more than 2,000 programs [3]. 

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