Nikka has been a great addition to the family and has provided Lyn with a tremendous amount of joy, love and support. Lyn and Mom would suffer more if it were not for the crazy antics of the dog who does 560s each day. Nikka, however, is not a trained dementia dog.
What is a dementia dog, you ask?
Dementia dogs are service dogs which have been specially trained to work with the dementia patient. As with other service dogs, these have trained to respond to alarms, to bring pouches with the patients medication and to provide other acts of support to their people.
Training dogs to support dementia patients is a new concept. In April 2012, the Glasgow School of Art made the suggestion in a competition and subsequently partnered with Alzheimers Scotland. Dementia Dogs was founded. At the time of this writing, their bandwidth was exceeded due to the announcement of the first trained dogs being placed. Hopefully, by the time you read this, they will be back up and running.
I love this idea and hope all involved decide it is a worthwhile resource that benefits the dementia patient and their care givers while providing the dogs with good homes and challenging jobs.
First Dementia Dogs Start Work with Owners