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 About Mobility Impairment Dogs

"Just over 6.8 million community-resident Americans use assistive devices to help them with mobility. This group comprises 1.7 million wheelchair or scooter riders and 6.1 million users of other mobility devices, such as canes, crutches, and walkers.”

Mobility impairments affect millions of people in daily tasks such as caring for themselves, their families, doing household chores, completing work at their jobs, and countless others. While canes and wheelchairs are helpful it may not be enough. Service dogs can help fill the gap where a caregiver may have been needed otherwise, granting their handler independence. 

Limited mobility can make even the simplest tasks difficult such as retrieving and changing clothes. Service dogs can help by:
-Retrieving an assistive device like a cane, wheelchair, or reaching aid 
-Removing their handlers socks and shoes, putting shoes away
-Pulling shirts, jackets or sweaters off for their handler
-Opening and closing the bedroom door, the closet, or draws 
-Pulling selected items of clothing out of draws and bringing them to their handler

How else can a service dog help in the home?
-Opening and closing cabinets and refrigerator
-Retrieving objects from low shelves to avoid bending over
-Retrieving bottles of water, medications, shoes, keys, any item by name
-The dogs can be trained to hit an emergency button or bark to alert for help in an emergency
-Interrupting risk behaviors such as 
rolling too close to the edge of the bed
-Nudging handler's fallen hand back to the control of a power wheelchair
-Moving clothes from the washer or dryer to a basket
-Retrieving dropped items
-Retrieving a ringing phone 

What can the service dog do in public spaces?

-Reminders to take medication as well as carrying that medication in their vest
-Pressing door open buttons, elevator call buttons, street crossing buttons
-Help with balance when stepping up or down curbs, controlled speed and balance on staircases, help standing up from 
or getting up from the floor
-Carrying objects alongside you such as shopping bags in a store
-Passing payment to and from a cashier 

GOFI dogs have been placed with individuals with

- Seizure Disorders
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Connective Tissues Disorders)
- Anxiety and Depression
- ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Mobility Impairments 
- Autism

If you would like GOFI dogs to appear at an event for your school or organization, please contact us!

Golden Opportunities For independence In Walpole is a 501c3 nonprofit organization 

©2016 Golden Opportunities for Independence