The Long-Distance Caregiver
Someone telling us that a support dog would be a great benefit to both you and your husband prompted me to call them my Paws for Caregivers. A support dog provides companionship, which can be especially important for long-distance caregivers. It can keep you feeling connected to your loved one. Upon hearing this advice during our most stressful year, our paws were quickly converted to emotional support dogs.
A support dog heps reduce stress and anxiety levels, alleviates depression, and provides emotional support. Furthermore, support dogs can help your loved one feel safe and improve their social interaction, as well as offering physical assistance, such as fetching items or helping with mobility. They can be trained to alert you to changes in your loved one’s condition, helping you to stay in touch with their needs even when you are not physically present. With a support dog at your side, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved one is in good hands.
While that may be true for most caregivers, my situation is different. Dog dander sparks in reaction with my daughter and my Dad. We have hypoallergenic dogs. They do not shed. My daughter visited her grandparents and took her hypoallergenic dogs and two cats. The cat hair affected Dad. We admitted him to the hospital for 3 days
I knew then I wouldn’t be able to take Hagrid or Soobie with me. Caring for my parents was a priority and I missed them, but my husband needed them more. He was home alone during the lockdown.
It will help if you consider several factors before you purchase or have a support animal by your side.
1. Cost: A support dog may be expensive to purchase, train, and maintain.
2. The Caregiver’s Needs: A support dog should meet all of the caregiver’s needs, so thorough evaluation and understanding of the physical, emotional, and practical support needs of the caregiver are key.
3. Compatibility with other members of the household: Support dogs should get along with other family members and pets, so it’s important to ensure their compatibility before bringing them home.
4. Training: Support dogs must undergo rigorous training for specific tasks. Autistic support dogs, for example, need to be able to help keep the autistic person calm.
5. Local Laws and Regulations: Support dogs are subject to the same laws and regulations as regular pets, including vaccinations, licensing, and leash requirements.
6. Access: In some cases, support dogs may not be allowed in certain establishments, such as restaurants and other public places, due to state and federal laws governing service animals.
My mom’s friend is 96 and doing well, but she has her little mixed AZ with her for the company and makes a very good guard dog. Chatforcaregivers.com