• The Impact of Animal Assisted Therapy on Staff in a Seniors Residential Care Facility

      Casey, Julie, B.S.W., M.S.W.; Csiernik, Rick; Knezevic, David; Ebear, Joanne
      Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is gaining a stronger presence within the therapeutic community. It is now utilized to ameliorate a diverse range of human needs across the lifespan in a variety of settings including developmental disabilities; visual, hearing and mobility impairments; acquired brain injuries; chronic illnesses; palliative care; trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction (Chandler, 2005; Engelman, 2013; Hanrahan, 2013; Kamioka, Okada, Tsutani, Park, Okuizumi, et al, 2013; O’Haire, 2013). There has been particular interest in working with seniors, especially those with dementia (Bernabei, De Ronchi, La Ferla, Moretti, Tonelli, et al, 2013; Filan, & Llewellyn-Jones, 2006; Majić, Gutzmann, Heinz, Lang, & Rapp, 2013; Nordgren, & Engström, 2014; Richeson, 2003; Sellers, 2006). However, the presence of therapy animals may not only be beneficial for clients but also has the potential to impact the entire system and thus could also be a contributor to employee workplace wellness.