How pets help people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia


In 2002, a study conducted on an Alzheimer’s special care unit showed that having a resident dog (versus a visiting dog) significantly improved the behaviors of seniors during the day. Dogs and pets alike offer unconditional love and do not judge which is constructive for people experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Introducing Ripley

Ripley is a 7-year-old Golden-doodle (half golden retriever, half poodle). He is proudly living in the Memory Care area at Seasons Milton. Seasons management were confident that Ripley’s wagging tail and caring demeanor would benefit residents.

Pets and dementia

Since it’s been shown that a dog’s presence helps to reduce some effects of dementia like anxiety, agitation and loneliness. Additionally, pets encourage seniors to be more interactive. At Seasons Milton, Ripley’s involvement in greeting residents and going on walks greatly benefits residents. Family members, residents and staff are baking homemade treats and buying toys to celebrate his arrival.

Seasons Milton general manager, Andrea says,

“Ripley lights up the entire home, he makes everybody smile. It’s clear that having Ripley here is positive for our residents in the Memory Care area.”

The memory rooms in the Memory Care areas contain objects that carry significant meaning for residents.  Objects such as wedding dresses, typewriters or oven mitts bring families and residents closer by providing comfort and recognition.

Clearly, Ripley is serving a similar function. Residents and visiting family members often take Ripley on walks together and enjoy his company. He creates a point of conversation which helps families connect with their loved ones experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“Ripley has brought the whole home together. He’has improved our residents’ quality of life,” says Andrea.

Everyone within the Seasons community warmly welcomes Ripley to the family. We look forward to discovering even more benefits pets have on seniors.



Allen, K. (2017, January 03). Alzheimer’s Disease: The Magic of Pets. Retrieved August 28, 2017

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