"Residents very much look forward to the weekly OTD visits, most notably, those living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia who may not get much pleasure out of daily interactions…they really light up when a friendly and furry animal comes near!”
Ann Monzon, Director of Programming and Community Relations, Colonel By Retirement Residence
Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) include the now well-known pet visits. We go to facilities where residents or clients can benefit from the therapeutic effects of human-animal interactions. Studies have demonstrated that these visits can lead to decreased blood pressure, lowered pulse and breathing rates, and increased appetite, among other benefits. These visits can be one-to-one visits, or group visits by one team or a maximum of two teams in a given visiting session.
Animal Assisted Activities can occur as:
an individual visit with a therapy dog team
a group visit to one or more patients/residents by one or two therapy dog teams
AAA visits can include demonstrations of dog obedience, flyball demos, tricks, but does NOT require direct supervision of a health-care provider.
General therapeutic benefits include:
lowering blood pressure
decreasing heart rate
decreasing breathing rate
emotional benefits such as decreasing depression, increasing self-esteem and self-worth, decreasing agitation and anxiety
behaviour modification for those with anger management issues, or perserveration.