“Dementia Dog Friends” project funded by the ESC’s Solidarity Projects program, has come to an end. The project lasted one year and was implemented by five volunteers from the Association.
During the project, meetings were held between people with dementia from a nursing home and dogs from the shelter “Every dog matters EU”, during which people with dementia got the opportunity to interact with the dogs. The meetings were facilitated by the five volunteers as well as representatives from the shelter. The outcomes of the project proved to be extremely positive for all involved.
The project proved to be successful in another way – by raising awareness among the community about the problems of people with dementia in nursing homes and the problems of dogs in shelters. Information was spread about the need for social involvement of these two groups, the offer of meaningful and valuable activities for them and the need for communication and proximity.
During the project, trainings were also held where non-governmental organizations in different fields were able to exchange experiences with each other.
The project ended with a dissemination event attended by representatives of the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Ombudsman, homes for the elderly and representatives of parliamentary institutions.
A report summarising the issues, needs and benefits of therapy dogs for people with dementia is available in Bulgarian HERE.
The Association remains optimistic that such innovative therapies will become routine in the future and will continue to work actively towards this end!