A service animal can do much more than simply provide seniors and mobility-disabled adults with loyal companionship. Just like the iconic dogs Rin-Tin-Tin and Lassie, some dogs assist their owners (or, handlers) with day-to-day routines while also keeping them safe.
How Service Dogs Help People with Mobility Disabilities
Mobility assistance dogs are specially trained to help disabled persons with mobility-related tasks. Whether these individuals use a cane or crutches, or spend most of their day in a manual or power wheelchair, skilled companion dogs can expand their independence and help to make every day activities a little easier to manage.
Here are just a few examples of the many helpful tasks performed by mobility service dogs:
- Retrieving or fetching (pill bottle, eye glass case, telephone, TV remote, walking cane, etc)
- Picking up dropped objects or holding/carrying additional items
- Acting as a brace and balance for someone getting up after a fall
- Supporting mobility-impaired pet owners during transfers
- Turning wall switches on and off; pushing buttons
- Opening and closing doors; releasing latches
- Barking as an alert to strangers, danger or for help in an emergency
Learn About Mobility Assistance & Companion Dogs
Across the country, a number of non-profit organizations specialize in training and matching the right service canine with the right disabled recipient (see links below).
Though not for every one, companion dogs offer individuals with varying degrees of physical and cognitive impairment the opportunity to experience a more independent life and the benefit of reliable personal assistance. And, a dog can also be a pretty good friend.
For more information on service and companion dogs, you can visit one of the websites below.
Canine Companions for Independence
Little Angels Service Dogs/Mobility Assistance Dogs
National Association of Service Dogs
Service Companion Dogs of America
Hoveround Corporation is committed to providing the best in custom power chairs and lifting solutions for your personal mobility needs. Contact a Mobility Specialist at 800-542-7236 to find out if a power wheelchair from Hoveround can help to get you moving again.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any third party resource or website mentioned within its contents.