Healthy Living

How Service Dogs Assist Dementia Patients

How Service Dogs Assist Dementia Patients

Throughout history, dogs have provided a wonderful service to those around the globe. In the most recent of years, service dogs have been found to assist in modern and healthy ways. These dogs are able to lend a way of support to those who are facing issues with dementia and other related illnesses. They can help with tasks that are on the smaller end of things, in addition to being trained in various commands. Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can find a source of comfort in knowing that there have been breakthroughs in not only training, but better understand just how dogs can be a great help to those facing these memory related issues.

Having a service dog is just one of the many ways that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can gain back control of their life. This will allow those who are facing these issues to have more independence overall. Dogs can help an individual with many different matters of the home and outside, too. Service dogs are able to pick up items that are dropped, which is a large issue that some of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia may face with the various symptoms that come with the disease. In fact, falls are often a reported fatality and serious threat that some of those with these memory related issues could face in the different stages.

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These service dogs may even be able to remind some patients to take their medicine and other reminders that are important to every day care. Service dogs can also provide services that go beyond this, as well. Some service dogs have also been known to bring a phone to someone who is need of an emergency number. They can also alert someone when their person is in distress. These dogs are also able to alert their owner to a possible break-in or a fire. These dogs offer up a lot for those who are in need of their service. These dogs are also able to help those who have anxiety and depression, which is something that is a worry for those who have a memory related illness. These dogs can even assist in getting the mail for those who are unable to do just that.

The type of training that goes into service dogs is not an easy feat; it can take months and numerous temperament tests before they are matched up with someone. Service dogs, however, do tend to be a few select breeds; although there is no limit on what can be achieved by mixed breeds or those that are not listed! Overall, it is generally golden retrievers, Labradors, collies, and German Shepherds. The dogs that are trained for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients do need to have certain task capability that other service dogs might not even be focusing in on.

These dogs that are to assist dementia and Alzheimer’s patients must be able to help in mental protection and possess the ability to essentially question how their handler is doing if they are acting out or unable to remember where they are or what they are doing. These dogs need to be able to physically help them, also. These types of service dogs need to be able to handle different types of touches and even rougher handling at times if someone were to have a fall or need to hold onto the dog.

Training these dogs can take months, and gaining the scent of their new handler is critical in establishing a bond and training. In fact, the scent is usually given to the dog in training before they even start up with scent training. Knowing the scent on the garment given by the future handler is something that is critical for many dogs and how they are able to bond with their future handler. This is also a way for the dog to become more familiar upon meeting the patient.

Knowing what rights one has

Service dogs spend months in training and are able to help with various tasks that they are taught and directed to help with! These tasks are able to help those who need it the most, especially with patients who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These tasks that are viewed as essential are given special treatment by the United States government. The Americans With Disabilities Act states that those with impairments and disabilities need their service dogs. This means that businesses’ and all establishments must allow these animals some form of access and accommodation. If there is discrimination against a service dog, it should be alerted to the Americans With Disabilities Act board. Service dog identification cards are available, in addition to emotional support animal identification cards.

Knowing what to expect can be frustrating for some, but there are many different types of ways that service dogs can help for those who are looking for the ability to live alone with a little bit of assistance from a service dog. There have been many breakthroughs in this area of training and more options are becoming understood for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia related issues. This is not an option for everyone, however.

Those are perhaps unable to report self-care for the dog or those who do not have a caretaker or proper way for access should certainly look for ways to get into this program. If someone is uncomfortable around dogs, this can cause further anxiety. Although this is simply a wonderful option for those who are able to do, there is nobody who should feel forced to have this option if they are afraid of dogs or feel as if they unable to care for the dog with or without a caretaker’s assistance. Having a dog can be an expense, but there are options for those who might need financial assistance in this area.

Service dogs have been a large help around the globe, especially for those who are facing the issues that come with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Their purpose is not only better understood than it was in the past, but it becoming something that is being better funded, as well. If this sounds like an option that is desirable and a possibility, then talking with a healthcare provider or a related option is highly suggested.

This can open up a new world for a patient with Alzheimer’s and dementia related issues. While obviously not something that will change their life entirely, it something that can indeed cause a large impact in the life of a patient with dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition to other types of therapies, those who do not feel the need of a service dog can still be impacted by the life of a therapy dog! These dogs visit nursing homes and can even visit a patient’s home if there are programs available for just that. Know these options might not seem like something that everyone will be thinking of, but they are just one of many ways animals are helping those who are facing issues each and every day! Looking for these options can be done online and by consulting established programs. Service dogs continue to offer up help that is unmatched in numerous areas!