Find out how our dementia assistance dogs, Kaspa, Oscar & Alex, are helping people with dementia by clicking here.
This is the first service that Dementia Dog are piloting for people with dementia who live near Forfar.
It aims to pair people in the early phases of dementia who live with a full time carer with a dog trained specifically to assist them in their day to day lives.
Assistance dogs provide at least three assistive tasks to their partner, these can include support for daily living routines (such as waking, eating, getting exercise and going to the toilet), reminders (such as prompts to take medicine, drink fluids and other user identified regular tasks), or soft support issues (such as companionship and acting as an icebreaker in social situations).
The dementia assistance project has now been operational for over a year, and we are starting to see the benefits of the pilot, in addition to our key operational activity we are identifying improved communication for the person with dementia and key stress and health benefits for the carer.
We are delighted with the progress of the pilot and we are building a framework for developing the full operational model and hope to have completed and have disseminated our first stage research by summer 2015.
In response to the significant feedback from communities and families caring and supporting those individuals in the early stages of dementia, we are in the development stage with ‘Intervention Dogs’.
These specially trained dogs would work with a client’s support team, perhaps Occupational Therapists or Care Workers, identifying a task that the dogs could help the client to maintain or reintroduce to their weekly routine, tasks that they were no longer able or have lost the confidence to do unassisted.
From accompanying clients to social activities (weekly trips to hairdressers or library) to establishing a regular outdoor walking exercise program, Intervention Dogs could provide measurable support to their emotional and physical wellbeing.
We completed our first intervention dog pilot and have collated the findings and the benefits we are realising in the assistance dog pilot are mirrored in the intervention dog pilot which is extremely encouraging, this increases our evidence areas considerably and will help shape the model for full operational implementation.
Following demand from residential facilities and care homes across the UK, we are exploring and progressing a 'Facility dog' concept.
These dogs and their support network have the potential to become a valuable resource for Care Homes seeking to provide an additional recreational service for their residents and to further enhance their emotional and physical well being.
We will be commencing our facility dog pilot in early 2015 so watch this space for an update.
Dementia Dog is supported by Alzheimer Scotland. Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland 149069. Registered Office: 22 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh EH3 7RN. It is recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, no. SC022315. Visit our main website at: www.alzscot.org