October Webinar: Assistance Dogs for Dementia




Please join us for DAI’s “Meeting Of The Minds” Webinar, on October 23/24 2019: Assistance Dogs for Dementia.

Presenters:  Professor Kevin McVilly and Phil Hazel

  • Wednesday, Octoer 23, 2019 (USA/CA/UK/EU)
  • Thursday, October 246, 2019 (AU/NZ/JP/SGP/TWN)

Please note: this is one event, set in a number of different time zones.

Registere here…

About the Webinar:

Kevin McVilly: Assistance Dogs for people with Young Onset Dementia; 3-year study –  This project documented the experience of 14 people with Young Onset Dementia and their families, over a 3-year period, of having a trained assistance dog.  The project was conducted as a partnership between Vision Australia (which trained the dogs), Dementia Australia (which supported the participants), and the University of Melbourne. We found: (1) people reported being more confident to stay at home on their own, or to go out for short walks on their own and family members felt confident to support this new found independence; (2) people engaged in exercise and physical activity, through games, walks and excursions that they might not have otherwise done prior to having the dog; (3) people reported regaining a sense of responsibility, purpose, and pride through the need to look after the daily needs of their dog; (4) people reported that the care of their dog provided opportunities to focus on issues ‘outside of themselves’, and their health; and (5) people developed new friendships and involvement in activities with others who had a dementia assistance dog, with the dog emerging as a common (non-clinically related) interest not previously available to them.
Phil Hazell: Living with Sarah: the value of assistance dogs for people with dementia; Phil will share his story of being diagnosed with younger onset dementia, and the value of having an assistance dog. His presentation will consider the benefits such as increased Self Esteem, Purpose in Life, Independence, Freedom and importantly, increased quality of life and well-being. Phil discusses some of the cha;lenges, or what he calls a ‘reality check for those considering an assistance dog, and the joys. Sarah also assists with increased organisational skills, more independence from family, friends, work place, self pride, happiness  and reduced personal and family stress. Phil’s assistance dog Sarah actively assists with tasks including:

1.Finding articles around the house such as keys, wallets, phones, TV remotes…
2.Keeps you calm in Public Transport such as Taxis, Trains, Ferry’s, Commercial flights….
3.Take you home when lost (Short Distance)
4.Identifiying you as some one that may need help
About Kevin: Keith R. McVilly is a Psychologist and the Foundation Professorial Fellow for Disability & Inclusion, in the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work addresses the translation of research into policy and practice, with a focus on promoting the well-being and community inclusion of people with multiple and complex disabling experiences. His work reflects the centrality of relationships to well-being. Much of Keith’s research is conducted in applied settings, working directly with people with disability, families and services providers. Keith has worked as a direct support worker, a clinician and service manager, in public health services and in private practice. In Australia, Keith has previously worked as a researcher at the University of Sydney, RMIT University, and at Deakin University.  In the UK he worked at the University of Wales’ Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities, and in the USA at the University of Minnesota’s Research Centre on Community Living.  In his spare time, Keith is a Registered Apiarist, with four bee hives in the back yard. He also keeps chickens and enjoys spending time in his greenhouse!
About Phil: Phil is a busy and enthusiastic Advocate for Dementia Australia and one of the first to be partnered with an Assistance Dog. Phil is Chair of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee and participates in research projects. He has spoken at numerous forums and events and has actively represented people with dementia in media interviews, focus groups, program development and research projects. Phil has travelled extensively presenting at Low Vision Conferences in Japan, New Zealand, United States and Thailand. His major subject was Electronic Magnification for those living with Macular Degeneration.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 (USA/CA/UK/EU):

  • 10:30 am  Honolulu
  • 1:30 pm    Pacific
  • 2:30 pm    Mountain
  • 3:30 pm    Central
  • 4:30 pm    Eastern
  • 9:30 pm  London/Glasgow/Dublin UK
  • 10:30 pm  Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, EU

Thursday, October 24, 2019 (AU/NZ/JP/SGP/TWN/CHN):

  • 6:30 am    Brisbane, AU
  • 7:00 am    Adelaide AU
  • 7:30 am    Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra/Tasmania AU
  • 5:00 am    Perth AU/Taipei//Beijing
  • 9:30 am    Auckland, NZ

The Webinar runs for 1.5 hours.  Check your time if not listed above with this link. 


  • DAI Members/Care partners: FREE
  • Support people with dementia to attend ADI2020: $50.00 USD
  • Employed persons: DONATIONS APPRECIATED

Register here…