Title of Presentation

Session B: Animal-Assisted Intervention Programs & Long-Term Care Facilities: A Future for Animal Programs and the Aging

Sub-theme

Research and Theory

Keywords

Long term care, Animal Assisted Therapy, Healthy Aging, Elderly

Start Date

12-10-2018 10:15 AM

End Date

12-10-2018 11:30 AM

Abstract

Over the years, animal-assisted intervention (AAI) programs in long-term care (LTC) facilities have come to play a large role in the health and well-being of the aging population. While studies indicate that AAI programs in LTC can improve the health of aging individuals such as increase physical mobility and mental stimulation (Bernstein et al, 2015), few directly address the problems that arise within these programs. This is due to the lack of evidence and analysis regarding vulnerable patient risk in association with animal interaction.

By investigating literature involving AAI in LTC facilities, and examining the complex issues within these programs, it brings to light the need for improvement. Highlighted in several studies, research has shown that for a myriad of aging individuals in LTC, AAI pose serious health concerns for older persons. As those in LTC are often considered under a “vulnerable population” (Sarason, 1985), many problems that these programs have shown to bring about include animal-induced injuries such as falls, scratching, etc. In understanding AAI within LTC using literature review, this research can be used to improve programs for aging individuals.

Overall, while there are many concerns surrounding AAI that can be highlighted in current research, these programs have proven to be beneficial. Animals within AAI programs do not just provide companionship for the individuals in LTC but have also shown to improve the lives of older persons and promote healthy aging. For the purpose of further developing future policies and encouraging human-animal interactions in LTC facilities, more research on these issues is necessary.

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Oct 12th, 10:15 AM Oct 12th, 11:30 AM

Session B: Animal-Assisted Intervention Programs & Long-Term Care Facilities: A Future for Animal Programs and the Aging

Over the years, animal-assisted intervention (AAI) programs in long-term care (LTC) facilities have come to play a large role in the health and well-being of the aging population. While studies indicate that AAI programs in LTC can improve the health of aging individuals such as increase physical mobility and mental stimulation (Bernstein et al, 2015), few directly address the problems that arise within these programs. This is due to the lack of evidence and analysis regarding vulnerable patient risk in association with animal interaction.

By investigating literature involving AAI in LTC facilities, and examining the complex issues within these programs, it brings to light the need for improvement. Highlighted in several studies, research has shown that for a myriad of aging individuals in LTC, AAI pose serious health concerns for older persons. As those in LTC are often considered under a “vulnerable population” (Sarason, 1985), many problems that these programs have shown to bring about include animal-induced injuries such as falls, scratching, etc. In understanding AAI within LTC using literature review, this research can be used to improve programs for aging individuals.

Overall, while there are many concerns surrounding AAI that can be highlighted in current research, these programs have proven to be beneficial. Animals within AAI programs do not just provide companionship for the individuals in LTC but have also shown to improve the lives of older persons and promote healthy aging. For the purpose of further developing future policies and encouraging human-animal interactions in LTC facilities, more research on these issues is necessary.