This week two highly trained Dementia dogs have started working with two couples in Tayside.This is as part of a pilot scheme and is the brain-child of the students from the Glasgow School of Art. If proved successful the scheme will expand as more dogs are trained.
Working in a similar way to Blind dogs the first pioneers of this wonderful service Oscar and Kaspa have started with their new owners after 18 months of training. The dogs work with people with the early stages of the condition.
Four months on a golden retriever called Oscar and a Labrador called Kaspa have been working with their new owners following 18 months of training.
Both dogs have been taught to respond to alarms and bring medicine pouches, to encourage their owners to go and read a reminder by giving them a nudge. These dogs are also trained to get their owners up in the morning.
Having a dementia dog also encourages those living with the condition to leave the house whereas before they may have lacked confidence. It also allows a partner to leave and feel confident that the other is safe and will take medication.
Walking a dog is not only great exercise but encourages social interaction with other dog owners and members of the public. This boosts self-esteem and confidence.
It is also good for those suffering with dementia to have responsibility and studies have proved those who have feel valued and have a higher self-esteem.
A dog is also a fantastic source of company for anyone who lives alone.