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Memory Assistance Service Dogs

Posted by Awesome Doggies

memory-assistance-service-dogDementia touches 5.5 million people in the United States. It is a serious problem that challenges the sufferers and their family member’s lives in ways they never imagined, and often in the very practical elements of life. Now, very special dogs are filling in the gaps and serving as memory assistants, helping improve the lives of those suffering with some forms of memory loss.

Over the years, the range of services provided by service dogs has increased and now includes memory assistance. Memory assistance service dogs help people suffering from cognitive difficulties remain safe and retain their independence for as long as possible. While memory assistance dogs can’t of course help with names and faces, the dogs can help bring their owner home when the “home” command is given.

Home

It might seem like a small thing, but getting home is the biggest challenge faced by dementia patients, and one that keeps many sufferers completely housebound out of fear of getting lost. Memory assistance service dogs are trained to guide their owners home, and if for some reason the person cannot make it home, the dog is trained to stay with them and bring attention to the situation by barking. Many of the dogs are equipped with a GPS collar so caretakers can find the canine helper, and thus the owner.

Therapeutic Interaction

memory-assistance-dog

In addition to assistance getting home, memory assistance service dogs provide what all dogs provide, a chance to connect with a loving companion who reduces loneliness and depression. While out and about, the dog provides a talking point for predictable interaction answering questions like “what is your dog’s name?” and others that help boost the owners confidence.

Rising Trend in Service Industry

service-dogMemory assistance service dogs are not yet widely available, but the trend is on the rise. Many companies can specifically train dogs to meet the needs of their human companion, including that of memory assistance. Dogs, with their keen ability to get home, and their undying loyalty, are a perfect fit for this special and lifesaving honor.

All dogs, whether specially trained for duty or not, serve us in countless ways. That’s why we have such high regard for everyone's furry family members.

When you schedule a grooming for your pet with Awesome Doggies, you can be sure that we treat them with the same love and devotion as you do.

Check out Stanley Coren's articles for Psychology Today and Modern Dog, as well as the Memory Disorders Project's article for more information on memory assistance service dogs.

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