Pilot study suggests therapy horses may aid people with dementia and their caregivers

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

by Holly MacCormick | SCOPE, Stanford Medicine Blog

Family members provide most of the day-to-day care for people with dementia. Yet few resources are available for individuals in this common, and often times stressful, caregiving arrangement.

The Connected Horse Project, a program founded to involve people with dementia and their caregivers in guided activities that bolster their communication skills, could change this.

... Read more

Innovative Dementia Research by UC Davis and the Connected Horse Begins

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Senior living dementia care experts Nancy Schier Anzelmo and Paula Hertel created an innovative research approach to explore how guided work with horses might improve the quality of life for those affected by dementia, especially those with an earlier onset diagnoses. They founded the Connected Horse, a nonprofit organization, to continue this effort.

Initial results from their pilot study conducted with the Stanford School of Medicine and its Red Barn Leadership program were very promising — virtually all participants scored significantly higher for social support, better sleep quality, and decreased anxiety and depression. But the impact on participants went much deeper.

... Read more

One of the Herd

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

by Cecilia Meis | Success Magazine

More than 5 million Americans are living with dementia. Around 200,000 of them are 50 to 65 years old. They could have children who still live at home. They could be visiting college campuses or planning baby showers for their first grandchildren.

Instead they’re forced to quit working and feel the stigma of living with a disease perceived to affect only the elderly.

... Read more

Horse therapy could help people cope with early-onset dementia

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

by Holly MacCormick | SCOPE, Stanford Medicine Blog

As a kid growing up in rural Minnesota, I spent many of my waking hours searching for a reason to be near the five horses that roamed the 40 acres behind our house. Their methodical munching and tail-swishing put me at ease and learning how to ride a 1,200-pound animal that could easily wipe me off on a fence post taught me much of what I know about courage and persistence.

... Read more

OFF TO THE RACES — Groundbreaking “CONNECTED HORSE” Pilot Project Launched

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

They’re off! The trailblazing Connected Horse Project got underway this week, testing whether guided engagement with horses might strengthen the trust, cooperation and communication between persons living with dementia and their care partners. The pilot study is the brainchild of Nancy Schier Anzelmo and Paula Hertel who coordinate the project under the guidance of Stanford University in Palo Alto and in conjunction with Stanford’s Red Barn Leadership Program.

... Read more