Dementia Dogs, a project that harness the power of dogs to improve the lives of people living with dementia, are looking for a match for a new dementia assistance dog. With plans to fully train and place a dog later this year, applications are wanted from individuals living in mainland Scotland who are at a mild stage of dementia and who live at home with a full-time unpaid carer.
Dementia Assistance Dogs are highly trained dogs, helping their family with specific tasks such as fetching medication pouches or reminding their owner to complete routine daily tasks. They live at home, full time, as a constant loving companion. They also can also improve confidence, motivation, and bring a sense of purpose and whole lot of joy and fun in their family’s life. Unlike pet dogs, assistance dogs have full public access rights, meaning they are able to provide reassurance and support in busy, unfamiliar environments too.
To date, the Dementia Dog project has placed 8 dogs including Hope, who was matched and placed with her family in January 2019. Hope made a huge difference to the lives of Ann, who lives with dementia, and her husband John, who is her full time carer.
John said: “We wouldn’t want to have our family without Hope - she adds to the pleasure we have!”
The couple’s daughter Claire, added: “Dogs are one of the best ways to receive therapy. I can agree first-hand after seeing how Hope has changed my parents’ lives. She gives mum a sense of security and purpose. People are often stopping you in the street for a wee chat. The dog opens conversations with people.”
Nadia Sutherland, Dementia Specialist from the Dementia Dog Project said: "It is amazing to see the difference these dogs can make for families living with dementia. If you love dogs and meet our criteria, we encourage you to get in touch by registering your interest."
For more info and applications please visit Dementia Dog website.