Dementia Dogs have been reported to reduce anxiety, depression and distress in people with early-stage dementia. Early trials in Scotland indicate that such pets can also be trained to help people in more practical ways; for example by reminding people with failing memories to take their medications and encouraging them to exercise more.
The Dementia Dogs were the brainchild of students from Glasgow School of Art, who suggested dogs could be trained to help people with dementia in the same way that guide dogs help blind people. This scheme has been supported by Alzheimer Scotland, Dogs for the Disabled and Guide Dogs Scotland.
Bradford, E. (2013). First dementia dogs start work with owners. Glasgow / Edinburgh: BBC Scotland Health News, July 15th 2013.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 9, August 2013].