Dogs in general can be perfect companions for elders. They provide unconditional love and companionship, while also encouraging the elder to go for daily walks and socialize with other dog walkers. These pets give older adults someone to take care of and a newfound purpose in life.
Dogs not only make great pets, but can also provide help for seniors with dementia. Service dogs can be specially trained to help seniors who are in need of assistance with certain tasks due to dementia. Most of these adults will need assistance from an elderly care aid, but a service dog may also be able to take some of the responsibilities off of their shoulders.
A few of the tasks service dogs can help with include:
- Flipping on a light switch
- Becoming alert to sounds
- Reminds the elder to take their medication or get medications
- Bring them an emergency phone
- Picking up something that was dropped
- Responding to a smoke alarm
- Waking up the elder
- Keeping strangers away
- Guiding the senior to a safe walking path or pulling their wheelchair
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is considered a mental illness, which will make it perfectly acceptable to bring the service dog to all public places, according to the American with Disabilities Act.
Training Dementia Service Dogs
Service dogs for people who are blind or deaf are specially trained to assist them with everyday tasks. The same is true of service dogs who serve older adults with dementia. They are thoroughly trained to handle the specific needs of someone with this disease.
One of the biggest concerns for family members of someone with dementia is the fear they will wander. One thing dogs have that humans don’t is an incredible sense of smell. They are trained using the scent of their owner, making it easy for the dog to track them down if they do wander. The cost of training a dog to assist a dementia home care aid is minimal compared to the benefits it will bring the elder and their family.
Some experts also think that having a service dog may slow down the progression of the disease,
including their memory loss. More research is being conducted to find out.
Using these specially trained dogs is still a fairly new practice in aiding those with this mental illness, but can greatly benefit the elder and their senior care provider.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Katy, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
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