While we are accustomed to seeing service dogs helping those who have impaired vision or PTSD, those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) can also benefit from having a service dog.
CFS (this condition is also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease – SEID - or myalgic encephalomyelitis - ME. Sometimes it's abbreviated as ME/CFS) is a chronic and long term disability that can cause many stumbling blocks for those who are suffering. In addition to not being able to work full or even part-time, experiencing CFS symptoms can make it difficult or even impossible to execute day-to-day tasks.
There are several kinds of support animals and dogs that may be right for people experiencing symptoms of CFS.
Emotional Support Dogs
Emotional support dogs provide comfort and support in forms of affection and companionship. Anxiety and depression are common symptoms that accompany CFS. This can occur as the inability to partake in social functions often creates a sense of isolation. Having a comfort animal can improve your mood and offer emotional support in times of distress. Emotional Therapy dogs often live full-time with their owners who may have to put in time to specially train them for emotional therapy.
Therapy dogs are naturally calm, friendly, and affectionate with strangers. As well, therapy dogs are the best solution for patients who do not want the responsibility of caring for an animal full-time, and instead wish to receive the therapeutic benefits of spending time with a pet in supervised, clinical environments. Therapy dogs are specially trained through socialization, behavior classes, and therapy courses.
Service dogs are defined as animals that have been trained to perform tasks to assist an individual with disabilities. Those with CFS may benefit from a service dog’s training for retrieving dropped objects, fetching medications, and getting assistance when needed.
Service dogs go through intensive and comprehensive training and are able to carry out complex tasks and contacting a creative trainer who can equip an animal to be able to offer the assistance you need.
There are several organizations in Canada. One of the simplest ways to find a local contact for an emotional support, therapy, or service dog is through your local Humane Society.
CFS is an especially complicated illness because it affects people in varying ways, and there is no one tried and true treatment provided by the medical community. Looking at any and every avenue for care is essential when dealing with a chronic disability like CFS.
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Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.
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We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.
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If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.
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In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.