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Dog Fashion Show Lifts Seniors' Spirits

'Canine Couture' entertains adults living with Alzheimer’s disease.

By Kirsten Schneider

Several Canine Companions for Independence dogs walked the red carpet to entertain participants of ’s memory day care program at a "Canine Couture" fashion show on Sept. 21.

The four-legged models showcased the latest trends in beachwear, evening gowns, lingerie, sportswear and more.

The Club Carmichael Park is a day program for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Participants spend all or part of the day in the supervised and structured program designed to enhance their lives. The program focuses on activities such as Canine Couture that are fun and appropriately challenging.

Activities are also specially designed to help attendees retain or improve memory, as well as fine motor skills, hand-to-eye coordination and attention span. For caregivers, Club Carmichael Park’s program provides an opportunity to run errands, go to work, visit friends or rest and rejuvenate.

“Events like Canine Couture offer an opportunity for social interaction and mental stimulation,” said Linda Zisko, the Club Carmichael Park program manager. “Programs like ours help seniors experience improved self esteem and confidence as they gain a sense of belonging and enjoy companionship with others. And spending time with therapy dogs can help reduce anxiety and agitation among Alzheimer’s patients.”

The dogs at the event ranged in age and experience from puppies-in-training to retired facility dogs. In addition to modeling the latest fashion trends, the dogs demonstrated their mastery of several commands.

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Club Carmichael Park is situated at the Chateau at Carmichael Park, which offers independent senior living apartments, licensed assisted living and housing for seniors with memory loss. The senior living community is one of four full-service senior communities owned and operated by Sacramento-based Hank Fisher Properties.

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