RARUK: THE SHELTIE THERAPIST

 

                                          

Alexandre Magno Frota Monteiro (Brazilian Neuropsychologist)

 The neuropsychologist Alexandre Monteiro has directed his attendance to elderly depressive and elderly demented patients in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An elderly can meet him or herself in a situation of loss in theirs family or friends, who gave them and who received from them love and care. In the old age, this concept as individual value starts to spoil and the loss of the proper approval creates a deterioration of the integrity of their personality. The elderly coexist with death questions, cumulative and uninterrupted losses, also, in some cases, with the loss of control of theirs own bodies. They become depressive, they use to have possess sensation uselessness and can be unsatisfied with them social, physical and emotional situation.

His fiduciary partner of work is the Sheltie Raruk. According to psychologist "the animals favor the approach of the people, changing the subject of attention for subjects that are not illness. Thus, they fight the depression and the isolation. They are capable to stimulate physical exercises, important in the recovery of the majority of the illnesses. Also they help to provide an ansiolitic effect, increasing the resistance to pain". The use of the therapy with dogs in people with Alzheimer has resulted in an increase of socialization, improvement of social behaviors, and reduction of the agitation.[1]

In this work with demented patients, Raruk participates as co-therapist assisting in cognitive rehabilitation works. "Demented people have a problem with the memory; the dog assists to remember them situations of the past, as animal that they already had, also it helps the patient to force his/her to think.

Raruk goes to the clinic only on Saturdays, then, if the elderly see me without Raruk, they knows that it is not Saturday. They start to work with hypotheses and probabilities, moving the previous behavior that was the negation and the doubt ".

A situation that pleases the elderly is the fact that they are to give commands to the dog as: seat, down or to search the ball that they play. As gratuity, the dog receives canine cookies and some affection.

Beyond the cognitive reorganization, the dog favors the psychomotricity of the aged ones. "For being a hairy dog, pay attention the aged ones and them they feel will to brush it. Thus, taking care of the hygiene of the dog, a vanity feeling resurges and feels will of combing its hair and also passing maquillage".

During the week, some activities are directional about the occurred situations in Saturday, therefore thus we can to measure if the memory work is being valid or not.

Monteiro is coordinating of Animallis project of Animal-Assisted Therapy and actually, the project is in the third phase:

 1ª phase: MANNERING - phase where were quantified the different behaviors emitted for the elderly during the are important.

 2ª phase: EXPERIMENTAL - phase where the quality of the behaviors emitted after the stimulation of the animal are important.

 3ª phase: PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL - phase where are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively all items of the psychopathological abridgement.

 These results are important to give a direction to the treatment given to the elderly, because they have a different degree of dementia, emitting, thus, different behavior.

 

More details in our website:

www.animallis-taa.com

 

[1]  http://www.deltasociety.org/download/Alzheimers.pdf