The Lithuanian Relief Service of the Order of Malta provide the elderly and disabled an alternative and supportive rehabilitation treatment. The project helps those it servers achieve better physical and emotional health, improve the cognitive and social skills, using specially educated dogs to enhance the motivation of disabled persons.
Therapy dogs encourage patients to practice rehabilitation activities, such as walking or running with the animal or throwing objects for the animal to retrieve. Motor skills are developed by petting, grooming, or feeding the animal, and patients are more likely to interact whether giving the animal verbal and physical commands or talking about past pets. All of these activities can help develop cognitive skills and communication and make a major difference in the person’s comfort, progress and recovery.