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Sunday, August 26, 2018

How to get a Service Dog.

How to get a service dog
You must meet several criteria to be eligible for a service dog. This may include:
  • having a physical disability or debilitating illness or disorder
  • being able to participate in the dog’s training process
  • being able to independently command and care for a service dog
  • having a stable home environment
Service dogs are trained to meet a person’s needs before they’re placed in someone’s home. A dog that has already served as a pet usually can’t be trained later as service dog.
To apply for a psychiatric service dog, you will need a recommendation from a medical doctor or licensed mental health professional.
About 18 percent of American adults experience some form of mental health disorder. Overall, about 4 percent of American adults experience a severe or debilitating mental health disorder. This means that only a fraction of people who have a mental health disorder are qualified for a psychiatric service dog.
People who have anxiety that isn’t as debilitating may benefit from an emotional support animal. These domestic animals aren’t limited to canines. They’re intended to provide comforting companionship.
Emotional support animals are still regarded as pets in most situations. This means they don’t have the same legal protections as service animals in public and private spaces. These animals are afforded a few of the same provisions, though. A person with an emotional support animal is still qualified for no-pet housing and may fly with the animal without paying an extra fee.
People who believe they will benefit from an emotional support animal also need a prescription letter from a mental health professional.

What are other ways to cope with anxiety?
Coping with anxiety varies from person to person, so it’s important to find what works for you. What you may need depends on how you’re feeling and what’s triggering your anxiety.
Some general tips include:
  • going for a walk
  • practicing mindfulness
  • performing breathing exercises
  • getting a full night’s sleep
  • exercising regularly
If you need help, reach out to your therapist or a mental health professional. If you don’t have one, the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers tips for how to find the right therapist or doctor for you. The organization also offers help in finding someone in your area. This can be done online or by calling 800-950-NAMI.
If you need immediate medical attention, you should call your local emergency services.

What you can do now
If you think that you would benefit from a service dog or emotional support animal, you should reach out to a therapist or another mental health professional. They can work with you to determine whether a service dog or emotional support animal is the best fit for you.

A suggestion before visiting Nursing Homes and Hospitals

Just a note before visiting a Nursing Home or Hospital...

 Hospital Visitors
Don't enter the hospital if you have any symptoms that could be contagious. Neither your patient nor other hospital workers can afford to catch whatever you have. If you have symptoms like a cough, runny nose, rash or even diarrhea, don't visit. Make a phone call or send a card instead.
Don't take young children to visit unless it's absolutely necessary. Even then, check with the hospital before you take a child with you. Many hospitals have restrictions on when children may visit.
Don't take food to your patient unless you know the patient can tolerate it. Many patients are put on special diets while in the hospital. This is especially true for those with certain diseases or even those who have recently had anesthesia for surgery. Our goodies could cause big problems.
Don't visit if your presence will cause stress or anxiety. If there is a problem in the relationship, wait until after the patient is well enough to go home before you stress her out by trying to mend that relationship.
Don't expect the patient to entertain you. Your friend or loved one is there to heal and get healthy again, not to talk or keep you occupied. It may be better for your patient to sleep or just rest than to carry on a conversation with you. If you ask her before you visit, gauge her tone of voice as well as the words she uses. She may try to be polite but may prefer solitude instead of a visit.
Don't stay home, on the other hand, because you assume your friend or loved one prefers you not visit. You won't know until you ask, and your friend or loved one will appreciate the fact that you are trying to help her by asking the question.
Don't smoke before visiting or during a visit, even if you excuse yourself to go outdoors. The odor from the smoke is nauseating to many people, and some patients have a heightened sense of smell while taking certain drugs or in the sterile hospital environment. At most, it will cause them to feel sicker and if your friend is a smoker herself, you'll cause her to crave a cigarette, and that may be problematic.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Barbie poses for Goodyear tires, at Busch Tire in Palatine, IL

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Power of Pause

The Power of Pause

When we first make contact with Barbie, we see she is well trained.

It seems as though most of us are in a constant rush. We want things to happen now and are impatient if this fails to occur. By slowing down and acknowledging the importance of spaces in time, we may actually achieve what we desire more quickly. The pause allows us a moment to reflect, exhale, become neutral, integrate, be mindful and listen.
Pausing when we put our hand out, before starting,  allows Barbie to make a connection and gives her a moment, as in a greeting.
A moment of stillness upon approach when wanting to engage Barbie instead of just marching up to her, walk a few steps, stop for a moment, exhale and diffuse your gaze causes an Barbie to feel less invaded. Then it allows her to meet us in the approach.
When doing groundwork and you give a signal, such as asking Barbie to move forward, people often give a signal and immediately scold when she does not comply. Remember that when we want to give a signal, the signal goes from our brain (the idea) to our body (to give the signal), to the animal's body (the physical), to their brain (registering the request), and finally back to their body (to respond). When we repeat the signal or become insistent it can 'unbalance' the animal; trigger less functional posture; and the movement becomes confusing to Barbie.
What we do with our body has a huge influence on the way Barbie respond to us. If we are tentative the pause gives us a moment to exhale and become more grounded. If we are out of balance, mentally, emotionally or physically, Barbie can 'feel it' when we interact with her. If you ask Barbie to step onto a strange surface and she doesn’t comply -- just give her a moment; exhale and often Barbie will then comply. If she is still unsure, change something. That might mean do something else or just take a break.
When life is speeding out of control, and the harder you try the less you seem to accomplish, remember to pause and allow yourself a moment to reflect, exhale, become neutral, integrate, be mindful and listen. You may be surprised at your ability to proceed with the issues at hand, in you daily life.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Barbie visits Wellness Center

Barbie says it's always a pleasure to visit with Miss Judy

Wellness Center, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:

You are spotless and upscale.
Your Physical Therapists are excellent.
In fact, every staff member is outstanding- friendly and professional.
You offer an excellent selection of fitness classes.

Nutrition is a key element in your health and wellness journey. The Registered Dietitian (RD) has extensive experience in helping individuals achieve their health goals.
A wide range of programs and services are available, including:
  • Individual nutrition counseling for all ages – spend one-on-one time with the Registered Dietitian to individualize a meal plan for weight management, learn about good nutrition and provide follow-up focused on nutrition behavior change. Children under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult. Counseling for couples is also available.
  • WIN program for weight management – a unique, health-professional-led group program focused on lifestyle change to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. WIN combines weekly nutrition education and group exercise sessions in a supportive, motivating environment. 
  • Resting Metabolic Rate Testing (RMR) – Learn exactly how many calories you need to consume each day with this medically-based breath test, then have an individualized meal plan developed for you by the Registered Dietitian.
  • Monthly nutrition lectures on a wide variety of nutrition topics.