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A 66-year-old female asked about a 75-year-old male:

What is this i have heard about pets are the best medicine for dementia patients ?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Pet therapy: It is a great adjunctive therapy for any age.
Dr. Lynne Weixel
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
Stress relief: Interacting with pets is a wonderful stress reliever. Blood pressure goes down, joy goes up. It is very likely that a relationship with a pet will prevent or delay dementia. But the burden of care can be too much for a severely ill person, so for those elders with advanced disease, visits with pets may be a better choice. There's a adoption program of elder pets for elders that may be nice too.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Pets and Health: Interacting with pets can be healing for any of us, including if we get dementia. In dementia, we may lose a lot of verbal memory but can respond to affection and unconditional love. Who provides this better than a beloved pet? As long as the dementia patient and pet are safe together, this can be helpful. It may not cure the dementia, but can provide needed stimulation and comfort.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Geriatric Psychiatry 24 years experience
Can be helpful: Pets aren't medicine but can be quite a comfort. However after illness advances someone else needs to be responsible for the care of the pet or it may end up neglected or worse.

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Last updated Jan 1, 2021

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