Guide dogs make wonderful companions for seniors. Plus, they are a great way to help the elderly remain independent for a longer period of time. Before making the decision to buy or adopt a guide dog, everyone involved must understand the amount of dedication and time that goes into caring for an animal.
Having an animal around gets the senior out of their house on a regular basis. This means lower blood pressure, decreased stress levels, reduced bone loss, lower cholesterol levels, and improved blood circulation. Check out Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Guide Dog Foundation to get you started.
Low-Vision or Blindness
Guide Dogs can be of immense help to those with low-vision or are blind around the house and around town. There are different programs out there that can match you with the right dog and program.
Your guide dog will be a great way to bring the family together. If you adopt an older dog from a shelter, it will need some training on how to help the best way it can. This is where the family can help! Be sure to go along and help pick out the dog from the shelter. Ask the associates which dog is the most suitable for the lifestyle. Smaller dogs tend to be the easiest to care for.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia sufferers
Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers can benefit from having a therapy dog. “They create a psychological anchor to reality by maintaining a meaningful daily routine which thus adds to the quality of life.These positive and predictable social interactions reduce the sense of loneliness and isolation experienced by people with dementia. The very fact that they are out and about with their dog also provides a sense of independence to the patient and reduces the feelings of helplessness and dependency which can lead to some of the severe forms of depression which are often encountered in Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers.”
The cost of having an animal in the home must be thought about very carefully. You don’t want your senior loved one to fall in love with their friend to have it taken away because of financial hardship. If you are considering adopting a Guide Dog, The Guide Dog Foundation offers a companion free of charge, but you must meet their qualifications.
If you have any questions about getting a guide dog, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to talk with you.