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⭒ CANHR Advocate Did You Know Articles

Did You Know… Dogs may be allowed in nursing homes to help residents?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), nursing homes must allow service animals into the facility. Service animals may help people with various disabilities ranging from epilepsy to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and may offer support for people who are deaf or blind. When people become residents of nursing homes, they do not have to give up their service animal, as a service animal is not considered a pet. Service animals, such as dogs, are trained to provide aid directly related to the person’s disability.

Additionally, some nursing homes may also partner with local shelters for animal visits as a form of emotional support. These types of visits can often help to uplift residents’ moods and provide social interaction. They can also be beneficial to residents’ mental health which may, in turn, improve their physical health.

Nursing homes may have their own pet policies within the facility. If some nursing homes happen to allow residents to have pets or have animals visit the facility that are not emotional support animals, there may be liability risks. However, this is up to the discretion of the individual facility to decide if it is a risk they are willing to take.