Lisa Abeyta's father has lost almost all of his speech to Alzheimer's, but when he's near their family dog, he's able to speak again.
There is plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the therapeutic effects of dogs in working with Alzheimer's and dementia patients. According to the Alzheimer's Project, "Research shows that people with dementia recognize a pet in the environment as friendly and non-threatening. When they have a pet with them, studies show they display more interactive behaviors." Alzheimer's Wiltshire adds, "The dogs don't ask them to repeat themselves or remind them that they have said that already."
There is still much that we don't know about Alzheimer's, and the battle against mental degeneration is ongoing. But for now, therapy dogs are able to help many sufferers regain a little bit of their lives.
You can find out more information about therapy dogs for dementia patients in this video: