Monday, 5 May 2014

How can service dogs help Parkinson’s?

Service dogs are specialty trained to help and protect people with vision, hearing, physical and emotional challenges. Some of the earliest and well-known use of service dogs is the use of guide dogs for blind or visually challenged persons. Many people with Parkinson’s Disease use a Mobility Assistance Dog. Sometimes a special harness is worn by a Mobility Assistance Dog made for pulling objects, such as wheelchairs or helping someone balance.

 

Service dogs can help a person with Parkinson’s disease in many ways. Here are just a few of the ways:

  • Help with physical tasks around the house such as turning on light switches, opening and closing doors, picking up objects.
  • Assist with walking by helping with balance, act as a support or help a person get up.
  • Hold a person up if they are dizzy.
  • Overcome freezing of gait. This can be done by clearing the way in crowded areas, by using gentle pressure on a person’s leg or leading a person away from a hectic and stressful area that can exacerbate freezing.
  • Exert a calming effect at times of stress and anxiety.

Remember these are service dogs and not pets nor a guard dog. They are wonderful and amazing animals that can help you live better. You can contact the following sources for more information:

Please remember not to interfere with a working Service Dog. This lovely video clip will remind you why!

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