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The Difference Dogs are Making in Dementia Care

imgres-15Recent years have seen numerous innovative ideas come forth with regards to elder care. From robots to home care systems to GPS-enabled canes, the healthcare industry has been booming with exciting new ways to enrich the lives of seniors. This summer, a new project started in Scotland has the potential to help seniors with dementia in another remarkable way.

The “Dementia Dog Project” promotes services for people with dementia using dogs for support. The project aims to prove that appropriately trained dogs can:

  • Help dementia patients maintain their walking, sleeping and eating routine
  • Remind them to take medication
  • Improve confidence when facing unfamiliar situations
  • Keep seniors active and engaged with their community

Using Dogs to Assist Dementia Patients

Animals have long been purported to be excellent companions for the elderly, but researchers in Scotland believe they can be even more. Oscar and Kaspa, trained dementia dogs, have made significant improvements in the lives of their owners. After 18 months of training, the golden retriever and Labrador retriever moved in with their new families. They’ve been taught to nudge their owners to read reminder notes and wake them in the morning. Similar to home care software and home care systems, the dogs rely on pre-set reminder alarms to carry out important tasks – such as fetching medicine pouches.

Caregivers Glenys Will and Frank Benham credit Oscar and Kaspa for helping their spouses feel happier and more relaxed. Benham believes his wife’s confidence has risen since she began walking with Oscar, while Will notes that Kaspa has a knack for sensing when her husband is becoming agitated and redirects him before his mood worsens.

According to the Dementia Dog website, the program’s goals include helping dementia patients maintain their routines and independence. ClearCare Online has always been a strong advocate for senior independence, and has developed the most sophisticated home care software on the market. While “dementia dogs” may be a real source of comfort and support, qualified caregivers may often be needed.

Home Care Systems and Dementia Care

Home care systems benefit dementia patients and their families by providing real-time updates to patient point-of-care. This gives family members real peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is being cared for properly.

Dementia patients require consistent and capable care. Certain behaviors are common among seniors with dementia, including:

  • Inability to recognize familiar objects or people
  • Difficulty completing simple tasks
  • Wandering
  • Aggravation or frustration

Capable caregivers that use ClearCare Online’s reliable home care software have a distinct advantage when it comes to managing such behaviors. Home care systems are invaluable with regards to administering medication, monitoring disease progression, and helping seniors stick to familiar routines. Dependable home care software also facilitates good communication between families, physicians, and the entire care team.

If you have questions about ClearCare Online’s home care software, call one of our friendly representatives today.

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