How much does it cost to get a dog?
There are no upfront costs to participate in this program or for the purchase of a dementia assistance dog.
Dogs 4 Dementia will cover the cost of the dog and will cover associated costs for the first year (veterinary, feeding, worming, grooming and training). However participants will be responsible for all associated costs after the first year, as they would if they owned any other dog.
Who would be a good fit for an assistance dog?
First and foremost a person that enjoys the company of dogs.
At this stage, Dogs 4 Dementia are looking for people living at home in the community, where one person has a diagnosis of dementia and their carer does not. Their carer (family or friend) needs to live with the person and cannot be a paid carer (apart from receiving the Australian Government Carer Payment, Allowance or Supplement).
What is involved in participating?
Anyone that has owned a dog before will advise you that there is a lot to consider before taking part in the Dogs 4 Dementia project. It will involve a significant investment of time and energy because you will be introducing a dog to live in your home for many years. But, we hope that this will be a pleasant addition to your home.
The daily care of the dog involves feeding, walking, grooming and cleaning poo. There is other regular dog maintenance tasks such as washing, worming, and vet checks.
Beyond that, Dogs 4 Dementia asks all participants to complete short questionnaires to measure the outcomes of the dog placement. These are completed at four time points across the first year. They allow Dogs 4 Dementia to share the benefits or challenges of this project.
Because this is an Australian first initiative, the participants will be asked to share their experiences of living with the dog on this website and possibly the in the media.