The role of Shetland ponies in dementia research will play a vital part at a special healthcare conference in Aberdeen today.
The conference, organised by NHS Grampian, is taking place at the AECC, and is aimed at raising awareness of the latest care, support and research on dementia.
Those living with dementia, carers and health and social care professionals will hear more about how the specially-trained ponies help those with the condition.
Dementia affects almost 10,000 people in the north-east – a rise of more than 45% compared with 2007.
Dr Jennifer Adams, consultant in older adults mental health, said: “That’s a significant increase and a real concern.
“The figures – as stark as they are – don’t tell the whole story.
“Dementia is already one of the biggest healthcare challenges in Grampian, and as we are all living longer, we expect the number of people affected to continue to rise.
“That’s why it’s important we make sure that we’ve got the right support in place for everyone affected with a consistent approach.
“The therapy ponies are another tool that will help provide that.”