Yosef Meystel knows that everyone loves a fluffy friend? There are a lot of guide dogs that help people who are blind, deaf, have epilepsy or other health conditions. Did you know, oversees there are not dogs that can help people with dementia?
These guide dogs can help humans by encouraging them to eat, take medications, sleep and show them other reminders. These guide dogs may prevent people with dementia from checking into a nursing facility so soon. Sounds triggered in the home can prompt the trained dogs to perform tasks. Some of the tasks may include delivering a bite-proof bag of medicine with a note inside reminding the patient to take it or waking the dementia owner up in the morning.
The idea was developed by students in Glasgow School of Art and will be put in practice by the Alzheimer’s Scotland and Dogs for the Disabled. Dogs trained for people with dementia will start with Labradors and retrievers and training will begin in Banbury.
Joyce Gray of Alzheimer’s Scotland said: “People in the early stages of dementia are still able to live a relatively normal life, and dogs help to maintain routine.”
The dogs also offer support for the person.
Ms Gray was quoted in The Independent and said, “The anecdotal evidence we have is that people may forget familiar faces but not pets. It’s such a strong bond that people often remember them longest. People light up when they see animals. They don’t need to communicate verbally but they can still interact. You can have a speechless bond.”
While this idea is still in development, it could be a global possibility in the near future. The dogs can help people with dementia in the early stages to develop and maintain routine.