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Consumer Corner

Pet Therapy in Nursing Homes

As recently as 5 to 10 years ago, it was unusual to see dogs, cats, or other animals in a nursing home. Today, most facilities enjoy visits from pets; and many even have live-in dogs, cats, birds, and/or fish whose role is to bring comfort, joy, love, and laughter to residents and patients. The trend has grown because pet therapy for the elderly works. Studies have shown that pets help with depression, loneliness, and other issues. Many AMDA members have animals at their facilities, and some take their own pets to work where they ‘make rounds’ and spend time with residents.

AMDA physicians in regions throughout the country have information and guidance on this topic. You can listen to practitioners offer key points about pet therapy.*

Patricia L. Bach, PsyD, RN

California Click this button to listen to interview

Daniel Haimowitz, MD, FACP, CMD

Pennsylvania Click this button to listen to interview

Barbara L. Hoffmann, MD, CMD, MBA

Pennsylvania Click this button to listen to interview

John E. Morley, MB BCh

Missouri Click this button to listen to interview

Christopher Patterson, MD, CMD

South Carolina Click this button to listen to interview
*Requires a program that plays MP3 audio files

"Caring for Consumers" clip and copy advice sheets, designed for residents/patients, family members, and future consumers of long term care services, include an introduction to the topic, tips for addressing the issue and enhancing care, a list of questions to ask the physician, and a list of additional resources. Feel free to print and use when speaking to your family and physician.

Rover Has a Role in Quality of Life for Residents


Additional Resources

Practitioners Talk About Canine Coworkers

Do Therapy Dogs Pose Infection Risks? Study has caused concern, but LTC specialists advise banishing germs rather than popular pets.

Nursing Home Pets a Boon to Residents

Why Pet Therapy Belongs—Brief Article

Nursing Home Visits

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    Phone: 410-740-9743 • Toll free: 800-876-2632
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