When Imke Thomson’s husband Malcolm was diagnosed with dementia, the Dundee couple dreaded what lay ahead.
Already living with Parkinson’s, 71-year-old Malcolm often struggled to find his way out of a room, remember his medication or dress himself.
It was thanks to Dementia Dog, an innovative scheme providing assistance dogs, that the former photographer was able to improve his quality of life.
However, the Scottish project’s funding will end in August, meaning no more families will be able to benefit from similar support.
A campaign has been launched to find sponsors in a race against time to secure the scheme’s future.
Imke, 65, a former clothes designer and maker, said: “Malcolm has had Parkinson’s for seven years and he was diagnosed with dementia three years ago.
“We already suspected he might have it, but it was still a shock to see it written in black and white.
“We were worried about the future of course, because we didn’t know how we would cope with dementia, on top of Parkinson’s.
“Having Webb, a dementia dog, has improved Malcolm’s life so much.
“Webb helps with practical things such as opening and closing doors, helping Malcolm take socks off, getting him out of bed, reminding him to take medication and helping him out of a room when he gets confused.
“He also gives us so much joy and emotional support.”
Dementia Dog is run in collaboration between charities Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good, supporting people with dementia across Scotland including eight families in Tayside.
On Friday, they launched an online fundraising campaign at the V&A, called In The Picture.
Dementia dog project manager Fiona Corner said: “We are asking people to help us keep dementia dogs in the picture.
“The funding runs out on August 31 and if we don’t raise at least £30,000 we won’t be able to help any more people.
“This who currently have dementia dogs will be able to keep them but we won’t be able to expand.
“We get no statutory funding so we need sponsors. We’re asking people to donate, sponsor us and share our campaign on their social media.”
More information can be found at dementiadog.org