“Alzheimer Bulgaria Association” is currently working on the project “Dementia Dog Friends”, funded by the “Solidarity Projects” which is part of the “European Solidarity Corps” program. The project started at the end of the summer of 2021 and has a duration of one year. The funding for it is 6,740 euros.
The objectives of the program include engaging young people with social problems and improving their project management skills. Therefore, the project is carried out by five young volunteers who are supported and guided by a mentor from the Association.
The project aims at raising awareness of the problems and the need for communication of people with dementia. It also focuses on the need for improvement of society’s attitude towards stray animals. To sum up, the results of the “Dementia Dog Friends” project aim at providing a new social service that involves stray animals in sanctuaries so as to improve the emotional state of people with dementia.
The project activities include meetings between people with dementia from the “Alexandrovska” nursing home for elderly and dogs from the “Every Dog Matters EU” sanctuary. The five volunteers and psychologists will take part in the meetings in order to make a research on the benefits of such communication and will prepare a report that will be published on the Association’s website.
Two training sessions for volunteers have also been held so far as part of the project activities on the topics: “What is dementia?”, “How to communicate with people with dementia in nursing homes?”, and “How to manage projects and create reports?”.
Alzheimer Bulgaria Association is working together with “Every Dog Matters EU” sanctuary, which supports the idea of inclusion of animals in the social and health services in order to improve the emotional state of patients and to include animals in the society.
A training session will be held in April in the sanctuary which will be about how to train dogs to include them in the care for patients and, in particular, in the care for people with dementia.
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