In dementia you lose your sense of routine - and dogs are great at keeping routines. The other key benefits are being a natural social connector when out and about, and also providing unconditional love and companionship for both the person with dementia and their carer too. We can train the dogs to respond to alarms for medication and hydration which also helps take the load off the carer. Helping to combat social isolation is another place in which the dogs can be of real help.
The Dementia dog participants say they feel less invisible; people see them with their dogs in their jackets, and come up and talk to them. The dogs act as an emotional anchor – but they can also function as a physical one too. In a supermarket, for example, a person with dementia can sit somewhere safe and they will stay with the dog - giving the carer time to go round the shop.