Dogs 4 Dementia grew out of a partnership with Scotland’s Dementia Dog project, which has been up and running for the past two years training and matching dogs to live with Scottish families to undertake tasks and companionship, matched to the unique needs of the family.
Over that time, Scotland’s Dementia Dog project has followed the experiences and captured the stories of the people that received dogs on their great website (www.dementiadog.org) . They have conducted some robust evaluations to demonstrate the ways that trained dogs can support and enable people to live well with their dementia with the University of Edinburgh and are about to publish the first of their findings next month.
But, we can already share some of the observed benefits that people said the presence of the dog within the home lead to:
- A marked improvement in the couples relationship (a greater sense of equality).
- Communication was greatly improved, a marked decrease in word searching.
- Motivation to continue with routines and interests that were declining, but since have been refreshed.
- A greater sense of self.
- Postponed need for more formal care arrangements in all couples.
- Dogs becoming intuitive and perceptive of individual needs.
Dogs 4 Dementia are excited to continue to work in partnership with our Scottish counterparts and look forward to learning more about the successes they are having.