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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 1/14/2006 6:34:38 AM EDT
Not surprising.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10809482/>1=7538

Alone time with pets helps seniors
Dogs can ease loneliness better than humans, study finds
Marian Banks sits with her dog, Sparky, at her home in St. Louis. Sparky is part of an ongoing study to determine how interaction with animals can reduce feelings of loneliness in the elderly.
Tom Gannam / AP

Updated: 3:58 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2006
ST. LOUIS - Dogs apparently need no help lifting the spirits of lonely people. A study has found that nursing home residents felt much less lonely after spending time alone with a dog than when other people joined in the visit. The residents shared their problems and story in "intimate conversations" with the visiting dog, researchers said.

"It was a pretty surprising finding," said Dr. William Banks of Saint Louis University, who co-authored the study with his wife, Marian Banks, a postdoctoral fellow in nursing at Washington University at the time.

"They were happier with the one-on-one ... bonding with the animal. It suggests human interaction is not value-added, and might be slightly detrimental."

Residents at three St. Louis nursing homes who said they wanted dog visits were divided into two groups. One group received one-on-one visits with a dog; the other group shared the dog visitor with several other residents.

Researchers suspected the visiting dog would prompt socialization — and reduce loneliness — but the residents who shared dog visits with other people reported only slightly less loneliness. The big winners were the residents who had exclusive visits with dogs. Their loneliness decreased substantially.

The research will be published in the March issue of Anthrozoos.

"The study also found that the loneliest individuals benefited the most from visits with dogs," William Banks said.


An earlier phase of the study, conducted by Marian Banks in Mississippi in 1997, found that nursing home residents who received one to three dog visits a week had substantial decreases in loneliness, as measured in a psychological test instrument known as the UCLA loneliness scale. Those without dog visits had no change in loneliness.

The next phase of the study, at Saint Louis University, will look at whether robotic dogs popular in Japan have a similar effect on lonely seniors. Researchers will measure both residents' loneliness and ability to attach to the robotic dog.

Marian Banks said a Japanese study showed that the robotic dog, Aibo, elicited smiles from Alzheimer's patients.

Marian Banks said she used an academic mentor's golden retriever to conduct the first phase of the study in Mississippi.

But for the second and third studies in St. Louis, she's used Sparky, a mixed-breed dog she found four years ago in the alley behind her house.

She said his sweet disposition won her over, and she adopted and trained him. She said Sparky sits next to nursing home residents on their bed, listens to their stories, and lets them groom him.

"He sits there very nonjudgmental," she said.

"When they go to a nursing home, they lose all their possessions. They need to belong, love and be accepted. The dog gives unconditional love. They say the most incredible things in the presence of a dog."

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:10:39 AM EDT
They're mans best friend for a reason; they don't nag or bitch, they are always glad to see you even if you are late and smell like another dog, they are ready to go with you at a moments notice and they will take a nap the same time you do, they can take a piss anywhere that you can, they don't mind their own smell, they like a good game of 1 on 1 football, they are just as big a smart ass as you, they do dumb stuff like you.... OK folks add some more reasons
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:12:24 AM EDT
See sig line below.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:12:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CS223:
They're mans best friend for a reason; they don't nag or bitch, they are always glad to see you even if you are late and smell like another dog, they are ready to go with you at a moments notice and they will take a nap the same time you do, they can take a piss anywhere that you can, they don't mind their own smell, they like a good game of 1 on 1 football, they are just as big a smart ass as you, they do dumb stuff like you.... OK folks add some more reasons



They really don't care if you are a flaming asshole. They will love you, anyway.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:20:30 AM EDT
they adoringly hang on your every word and don't give you the impression they'd rather be somewhere else... they don't grimace when you touch them, as if they'd rather keep their personal space, and they're more than happy to snuggle up on a cold night, even just to keep your feet warm...

and they don't complain about your cooking.

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:22:41 AM EDT
dogs = unqualified selfless love.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:35:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:38:19 AM EDT
I wonder how much $$ was wasted on this study when everyone already knows that dogs are truly man's best friend.
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