University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 4-6-2020


Therapeutic Recreation


Recreation and Park Administration




Michelle Davis Gerken

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


The purpose for research describes the benefits of animal-assisted therapy for the geriatric population. Animals can assist in creating a better quality of life for any person by increasing their emotional, physical, and mental well-being. For this research, the focus is on people who are 65 or older and exhibit some type of disability or health concern. The long running companionship between animals and humans allows for older generations to feel a sense of worth or being needed without the fear of being judged by friends or family. Overall, results show that animal-assisted therapy has proven to increase participation and physical activity, as well as boost the mood and motivation of the geriatric population. Having someone, or in this case something, these clients can do things with makes it more likely for them to take part in daily activities. The most common animal used in animal-assisted therapy is the dog, however many other animals are also used as intervention companions like horses, cats, birds, pigs and fish. The research explains how the company of a trained animal gives geriatric clients more motivation to do everything from cleaning or getting dress to playing games or going outside.

References for poster.docx (12 kB)
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