Currently in the recruitment stage, The Dementia Centre, HammondCare is working with Assistance Dogs Australia to match 8 assistance dogs with carers and their loved ones living in the community with dementia.
How can the Assistance Dog provide support?
- Prompting with things like taking medications and hydrating
- Mobility support tasks like opening doors, picking items up (eg. Remote control)
- Barking alert to danger
- Nudge draws and cupboards closed that have been left open
- Companionship and emotional support
- Trained specifically to match a person’s needs
- No upfront costs to participate, including the cost of the dog
- Vet and food bills will be paid by the program for the first 12 months
Some things to consider…
- Cost of dog will transfer to the owner after the first year
- Carer will need to support training of the dog
- Must love dogs and have no allergies
- Preferably no other dogs currently at home
- Be prepared for dog slobber, picking up droppings, dog hair – grooming
- Dogs will need to be walked daily
- There must be a diagnosis of dementia and living with a caregiver
- Participants must be living in NSW or Victoria
- A willingness to participate in the evaluation process, which occurs just prior to receiving the dog, and then 6 and 12 months afterwards.
Alternatively your clients can contact The Dementia Centre on (02) 8437 7355 with further questions or fill out the attached expression of interest form.