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Alert Dogs

Aged Care Facility Dogs
Aged Care Facility Dogs

Care staff

  • Advise care station, local or remote, regarding the occurrence of any trained event by means of dog activated buzzer. (Resident leaves bed / home)

  • Assist nursing staff with observations and patient care.

  • Give care staff a relief from the minute to minute stress.

  • Warning at the time of an emergency both inside and outside the facility. (fire, gas).

Therapy staff

  • Development and delivery of mutually agreed specific animal assisted occupational and therapeutic programs.

  • Provide added resource to visiting professional therapists.

  • Assistance and integration into regular therapy sessions and daily schedule ensuring better participation.


  • General moral boost.

  • Improvement in the quality of family visitations.

  • Fetch specific items for bed ridden patients.


  • Gives people the ability to “own” a pet and to obtain all the advantages even in circumstances where private circumstances do not allow.

  • Provide reward activities.

  • Provide both outdoor and indoor physical activities.

  • Provide impetus to socialisation and communication.

  • Resident support during night hours if they are unable to sleep.

Butler Challenge; “to add quality to life and not only years”


  • Rapid increases in population ageing and the associated rise in the prevalence of dementia have created many challenges for the care of older people with dementia.

  • As the majority of people now living in residential aged care facilities now have dementia, the need to maximise the quality of life for this group is increasingly recognised.

  • Special facility dogs have been trained to address such a need.Enabling service dogs to perform such a function required specialised training together with ongoing support.

It  is  evident  from  this  long  term  study  that  there  are  many  benefits  from  having  a resident  dog  in  a  nursing  home.  Animals  may  play  a  role  in  helping  residents  adjust  to their  surroundings  by  providing  a  link  with  their  prior  home  life.  The  evidence  suggests that  only where  a  resident  dog  programme  is  not  an  option,  nursing  homes  should  encourage visiting  dogs  and/or  visiting  people

Patricia  Crowley-Robinson  * , Douglas  C.  Fenwick, Judith  K.  Blackshaw

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