Dementia assistance dogs start work

Tue, 16 Jul 2013

Two specially-trained dogs that will help dementia sufferers in their day-to-day lives have started work.

Kaspa and Oscar are part of the Dementia Dog project, which was thought up by students at Glasgow School of Art's Product Design department and developed in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Dogs for the Disabled and Guide Dogs Scotland.

Both canines have been highly trained and proven to reduce anxiety and social isolation in people with the degenerative mental disorder.

Two more dogs have begun trials to follow in Kaspa and Oscar's pawprints and the project will now receive funding from the Scottish Government and the UK Design Council.

Not only do the canines provide company for older people with dementia, they can also fetch medicine when a reminder alarm goes off and take items between couples.

Joyce Gray, deputy director of development at Alzheimer Scotland, said: "Dementia Dog has had a truly wonderful impact on the families involved and Alzheimer Scotland is delighted to have been part of this groundbreaking project."

If this project is successful it may be rolled out further across Scotland and other areas of the UK.

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