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Can Psychiatric Service Dogs Help Geriatric Mental Health?

Posted on June 08, 2023 by Vincent Maldonado

People with mental or emotional illnesses or disorders can benefit from service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals (ESA). Only service dog handlers continue to be protected by these three federal laws.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Fair Housing Act (FHA)
  • Air Carrier Access Act (ACA)

The right of people with disabilities to carry their service dogs with them at all times is protected by these federal laws. Therefore, service dogs are permitted to stay with their handlers wherever they are, including in a public park (ADA), an airline (ACA), or an apartment where pets are not permitted (FHA). In addition, service dogs are allowed to access and remain in public spaces that do not allow pets, unlike other animals.

Despite significant contributions to family, society, and history, older persons experience loneliness, sadness, and other mental and neurological diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 20% of older persons who are 60 years of age or older have mental health issues. Therefore, identifying solutions to this population’s mental health issues is crucial for ensuring safety and well-being. Using psychiatric service dogs is one technique to assist seniors.

Can Psychiatric Service Dogs Help Geriatric Mental Health?

What are Psychiatric service dogs?

PSDs or Psychiatric service dogs are trained specifically to assist people with neurological or psychiatric problems. A PSD could be trained to assist senior citizens in the following ways:
In case. of severe depression or psychiatric emergencies, provide medication

  • Inform their handler when it is time to take their medication.
  • Act as a physical separation between their handler and an upsetting object or scenario.
  • To protect their safety, enter a room before their handler.
  • During an emergency, direct their handler to the authorized exits.
  • When their handler is drugged up, you should rouse them up.
  • Help their handlers when they’re having nightmares.
  • Urge their handler to take a meal or a shower.
  • Encourage its handler to exercise or carry out a medical procedure.
  • When their handler feels overwhelmed or upset, they “ground” them by providing tactile stimulation to reduce anxiety.
  • Take their handler to more secure locations.
  • When their handler finds themselves in a dire predicament, seek help.

Loneliness among senior citizens is a growing issue in the US. One in three senior citizens experiences loneliness. Being alone isn’t necessarily a role in loneliness, though social isolation might. Despite having family and friends close by, some elderly persons may still experience loneliness. The World Health Organization claims that loneliness can decrease a person’s lifespan, cause despair, and have a poor influence on the quality of life.

Seniors who experience significant mental health problems because of isolation and depression may benefit from the assistance of psychiatric service dogs. Now the question arises, How do Psychiatric Service Dogs Help Geriatric Mental Health?

How Psychiatric Service Dogs Help Geriatric Mental Health?

Psychiatric service dogs are good possibilities for anyone looking for treatments for elderly people with mental health issues. In addition to being wonderful companions, PSDs are a viable solution for those who are elderly and have mental health issues. A psychiatric service dog can considerably reduce neurological and mental symptoms by providing companionship and practical support.

Can Psychiatric service dogs help in fighting against depression or anxiety?

Generally speaking, pet owners are less lonely than non-pet owners. However, Psychiatric assistance dogs are not merely pets. They offer a near presence, but they also carry out duties that can help an elderly person when they need it. Because they aren’t trained to deal with their diagnoses, typical pets might occasionally overwhelm elderly people who are dealing with mental illness. PSDs, on the other hand, have received training specifically for the objective of assisting those who suffer from neurological or psychiatric disorders. The dog will be an essential component of the handler’s life and safety since they will know when to act and assist their owner.

Can Psychiatric service dogs help with Dementia?

Generally speaking, pet owners are less lonely than non-pet owners. However, Psychiatric assistance dogs are not merely pets. They offer a near presence, but they also carry out duties that can help an elderly person when they need it. Because they aren’t trained to deal with their diagnoses, typical pets might occasionally overwhelm elderly people who are dealing with mental illness. PSDs, on the other hand, have received training specifically for the objective of assisting those who suffer from neurological or psychiatric disorders. The dog will be an essential component of the handler’s life and safety since they will know when to act and assist their owner.

Psychiatrist service dogs help to improve Geriatric mental health

Elderly care shouldn’t just involve hospital stays, prescription drugs, and doctor’s appointments. There are times when adding unconventional therapies, like using a mental service dog, can cut down on medical needs and keep senior citizens safe. In addition to improving geriatric patients’ mental health, psychiatric service dogs can also improve their physical well-being and sense of fulfillment in life.

Suppose you are eligible for a psychiatric service dog due to a mental disability. In that case, you may request a medical expert. The Fast ESA letter comes up with the licensed mental health professional who will help to evaluate your PSD Letter.

About the Author

Vincent Maldonado
Vincent Maldonado
Vincent Maldonado is a dedicated content manager at Fast ESA Letter. With a strong background in content creation and management, Vincent plays a vital role in curating and overseeing the production of engaging and informative materials related to emotional support animals (ESAs). His passion for promoting mental health and spreading awareness about the benefits of ESAs shines through his work. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering high-quality content, Vincent ensures that Fast ESA Letter provides valuable resources to individuals seeking information and support in navigating the world of emotional support animals.

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