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Dogs trained to help dementia patients move in with new families

Posted by: David Howells  Date: 21/07/2013   Category: Latest News

Two Scottish dogs have become the first in Britain to help people with dementia still live as full a life as possible, heraldscotland.com reports.

Kaspa (a labrador) and Oscar (a golden retriever) were trained in Tayside before being handed to two Angus couples struggling with dementia. It is hoped the trial will be a success and see more trained dogs handed out across the whole of Britain to help those with the degenerative condition live their life more fully.

The dogs in question were trained to help with simple household tasks that would either assist or protect anyone with dementia. This includes fetching medicine when an alarm sounds, bringing household items or rising from their dog beds to wake someone in case of an emergency.

The scheme, which was developed jointly by Alzheimer Scotland, Dogs for the Disabled and Guide Dogs Scotland, has already been deemed successful enough to demand training for two more dogs. Provided these come through the sessions as well as Kaspa and Oscar, they too can live with new families and pave the way for yet more guide dogs to help people with dementia.

Speaking to thecourier.co.uk of her involvement, deputy director of development at Alzheimer Scotland, Joyce Gray, said: “Dementia Dog has had a truly wonderful impact on the families involved and Alzheimer Scotland is delighted to have been part of this ground-breaking project.”