The beneficial effect of contact with aninals
The non-verbal interaction between humans and animals can have a major impact on psychological and even physical well-being. Together with my dogs I work for various institutions for elderly care in the Haaglanden region. We visit elderly and often demented residents and through the contact with the dogs the residents become more lively and cheerful. Combining Animal Bonding and Tomatis® therapy has a beneficial and amplifying effect.
One family member of a resident expressed the effect as follows:
"It's as if she's waking up from a deep sleep"
Studies have shown that contact with animals, and dogs in particular, can reduce blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. It can reduce loneliness and encourages the elderly to exercise and play.
Behavioral problems caused by Alzheimer's disease such as irritation, aggression and rebellion are greatly reduced by the interaction with the dogs. Scientific research shows that this is due to increased production of serotonin and dopamine. This makes the elderly calm and relaxed.