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Info21online.com news/contacts on Family And Lifestyle providing ideas How Assistant Dogs can Help Alzheimers and Dementia Patients
When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often we look so long at the closed door that we
do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Helen Adams Keller
a Social Worker experienced in working with Alzheimer and Dementia Patients, along with Yariv Ben-Yosef, her partner and professional Dog Trainer in Israel in 1994. Dafna and Yariv only use smooth coated Collies to train for their program.
A while later a partnership between Alzheimers Scotland, Guide Dogs Scotland and Dogs for the Disabled was established and was formed due to a program started by the students at the Glasgow School of Arts in Scotland. The programs in Israel and Glasgow differ in many ways as well as having common ground in other techniques used.
This is yet another remarkable program that uses Dogs and their amazing abilities to once more help us. In doing so, people's lives are transformed. With guide dogs for the Blind, to a multitude of disabilities that dogs have helped has changed so many people's lives in so many wonderful ways. Where have we been? Dogs that have been specially trained in these types of work make so much difference to people's lives. Their devotion and love and loyalty is invaluable.
OUTSIDE THE HOME.
1. The Assist Dog leads the Patient, and therefore a lead up to 6 feet in length is used.
2. The word 'Home' is used by the Patient to indicate he would like to go home. The Patient then follows his Assist Dog Home.
3. In case the Patient forgets (!) to give the order to go Home, an electronic GP Navigation device is installed in the Assist Dog's collar. Carers or Family members can then activate the navigation device in the Dog's collar, producing a tone/sound that the Dog recognises as an alternate order to bring their Owner/Patient Home.
4. If somehow the Patient wanders off without his Dog and lead, the Assist Dog is trained to track his Owners scent and find him.
5. If the Patient is unable to walk Home, his Dog is trained to stay with him. The Assist Dog then makes as much noise as possible to attract the attention of the general public who then in turn can alert Carers and Family members as to where the Assist Dog and his Owner are. Obviously identification is found on the Dog.
INSIDE THE HOME.
6. When inside the Home and the Patient has a fall and cannot get up, his assist Dog is trained, to act within a reasonable time to trigger a special alarm to bring help.
7. When it is time for the Patient to take his medicine, an electric timer sounds. The tone given out by the electric timer prompts the Assist Dog to go get the Patient's bag of medicine. The Assist Dog then places the bag of medicine in the Patients hands. The bag contains a big note telling the Patient it is time to take his medication. Note: The bag containing the medicine is ' bite proofed '.
8. Must not forget the food! On the electrical timer is another special tone/sound for the Dog to act on and that is to open the cupboard door and to pick up his Owner's food and his own food.
9. Training is of course given so that when the Patient needs to go to the bathroom the Assist Dog is trained and ready to help.
The Assist Dogs not only provide invaluable help they provide the friendship and companionship that some people need so much to counteract the loneliness and isolation so often brought on by their debilitating illness.
Your Dog/Their Dog Training
Alzheimers - Autism - Asperger's - Seizures - Dementia - Anxiety