Category Archives: Creativity

How can service dogs help Parkinson’s?

Service dog for independenceService dogs are specialty trained to help and protect people with vision, hearing, physical and emotional challenges. Some of the earliest and well-known use of service dogs is the use of guide dogs for blind or visually challenged persons. The majority of people with PD use a Mobility Assistance Dog.

Sometimes a special harness is worn by a Mobility Assistance Dog made for pulling objects, such as wheelchairs.

Service dogs can help a person with Parkinson’s disease in many ways. Here are just a few of the ways:

  • Help with physical tasks around the house such as turning on light switches, opening and closing doors, picking up objects.
  • Assist with walking by helping with balance, act as a support or help a person get up.
  • Hold a person up if they are dizzy.
  • Overcome freezing of gait. This can be done by clearing the way in crowded areas, by using gentle pressure on a person’s leg or leading a person away from a hectic and stressful area that can exacerbate freezing.
  • Exert a calming effect at times of stress and anxiety

Remember these are service dogs and not pets nor a guard dog. They are wonderful and amazing animals that can help you live better. Contact the following sources for more information:

Assistance Dogs International This site offers information on service dogs with FAQ.

Paws with a cause. This site offers general information.

Nationwide Assistance Dog Group and Training Listing. This site lists training and service dog programs by state.

Please tell us how your service dog helps you or share your experience in obtaining one by replying to this post.


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Filed under Community Programs & Updates, Comprehensive Care, Creativity, Encouragement, Inspiration and Motivation

Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member

Ode to Parkinson’s

Posted with Permission by Author John Tripp, Diagnosed with PD 2006

(April 8, 2012 Version 2)

They told me I have Parkinson’s,

and all they know for sure…

 it will get worse every year,

‘til someone finds a cure.

I felt so alone and frighten,

I’ll become some sort of freak,

bent over and shaky,

unsteady on my feet.

So I began preparing

to hide myself away

but then thought of Muhammad –

(once known as Cassius Clay).

A proud and mighty fighter,

knocked down by this disease,

then stood and lite that Olympic flame

so all the world could see.

Then I thought of Michael Fox,

(he does not hides away)

but leads the charge to find a cure

for Parkinson’s today.

So I make this promise,

I will never hide,

but live life to the fullest

(and set my fears aside).

And though I may be shuffling,

as you pass me by,

I’ll hold my head high as I can

And greet you eye to eye.

 And, if my struggles make you skittish,

 look closer and you will see,

I’m the same person I’ve always been,

just packaged differently.

So when someone is struggling,

be kind as you can be.

It’s not some freak you’re seeing

it’s just Muhammad… Michael… and Me.

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