Service, Therapy and Emotional Support dogs? 

What’s the difference?  I recently heard Diane Alexander from handi dogs speak and it was so informative I decided to post about it.  Service dogs are TRAINED to do a specific tasks to  take care of their owner with a disabilitiy.  Only dogs and mini horses are used.  These are the ONLY dogs that can LEGALLY be taken into most businesses and on airlines and be kept in , for example, a rental house..  If a company trains them, you’ll pay $12,000 to $25,000 for a dog.  However, if you use a service like handi dogs, you, the owner train your own dog.  In addition to the cost savings, you’ll benefit by training your dog yourself so if your condition changes and you need the dog to perform another activity, you can train it do so.  These dogs need permission to come into, for example, an assisted living facility.

They must be well behaved, not eliminate while there and have no aggressive behavior.  They prefer  dogs that are 5 months to 4 years old.  Smaller dogs live longer but if you need certain help, then you’d need a larger dog. Certain breeds are easier to train.

These dogs do not have to wear a vest, but you should always ask before you try to pet a dog with a vest.

Therapy dogs are not covered for access to public accommodation.  These animals are there to be loved on.  They can perform animal assisted activities.  Benefits of loving these dogs are reduced blood pressure and release of oxytocin.  They also give stress relief and can help patients have faster recovery times.  

Emotional Support dogs provide comfort and may help those with depression or other psychiatric concerts or to reduce stress-induced pain.  They must be allowed to live with the handler even in no pets housing.  Documentation from a physician or other professional  may be required.

See more at US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section ADA 2010 revised Requirements

Five hearing tech announcements that could benefit older adultsPosted: 12 Sep 2016 07:20 AM PDTHearing technology advances -- the hearing aid industry considers changing. It’s a positive when you see disruption of industries that have too tight a lock on the consumer, whether it is in categories of health insurancetelecom carriers or hearing aids.  You spend time with people everywhere you go – those with significant hearing loss but no hearing aids; they have hearing aids, but hate to wear them.  According to a recent NY Times article, two-thirds of adults over 70, but only 15-30% of those wear them – and at $5000 a pair, no wonder. In recent years, personal sound amplification products(PSAPs) that are not classified as hearing aids and thus do not require the audiologist role, though the FDA may change that. Just asking, if the device is called a 'Wearable,' does Silicon Valley find it more worthy of funding?  But anyway. In July, Consumer Reports published an explanatory guide that should be required reading for organizations that serve older adults. It would seem to be the wild west of innovation.  Here is a sampling of five recent product announcements:ReSound. The firm "introduced a new model to the award-winning ReSound LiNX2™ family: the world's only mini behind-the-ear (BTE) model to feature Made for iPhone. In addition, the mini BTE also features telecoil capabilities. ReSound LiNX2 is the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid, connecting to the internet to locate misplaced hearing aids. This new model enhances the award-winning ReSound Smart Hearing portfolio, giving users even more choices to meet individual preferences and hearing loss needs." Learn more at Resound.Oticon. 

"Technological limitations of current hearing aids have led to the use of tunnel directionality: Speech coming from the front is clear, whereas the rest of the sound environment is suppressed. This results in a limited, narrowed and artificial listening experience. With new, groundbreaking technology, Oticon Opn™ is fast and precise enough to analyse and follow the soundscape and differentiate between sounds. Even in complex listening environments, this allows Oticon Opn™ to constantly open up and balance individual sounds to deliver a rich and meaningful soundscape, empowering the brain to choose on which sounds to focus." Learn more at Oticon.

Silicon Valley based startup that "offers an entry-level rechargeable hearing aid (FDA class I medical device) that it sells directly to consumers. Eargo is a near-invisible in-the-canal device offering four volume settings. Developed by a French ENT, it features patented silicone “flexi-fibers” that enable the device to sit comfortably deep in the ear canal while letting air and natural sound flow freely to the eardrum. At $1,980 per pair, the Eargo hearing aids are more expensive than many of the new off-the shelf “hearables” (classified as personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs, by the FDA), but less expensive than the higher end hearing aids fitted by audiologists." Learn more at

 "Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announces today it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its newest innovative hearing loss solution, Kanso. The Kanso Sound Processor provides a distinct new way for cochlear implant users to hear. Unlike most hearing aids and current cochlear implant sound processors that are worn on the ear, Kanso is a small, off-the-ear hearing device  that provides a more discreet hearing solution and delivers the same hearing experience as a behind-the-ear sound processor." Learn more at Cochlear.

 "iHear® Medical announced today the launch of the world’s first online hearing solutions platform. The company begins taking orders today for its flagship invisible iHEARHD® hearing aid, and the iHearTest™, which recently received landmark FDA approval as the first and only home hearing screener. Delivery of iHear products starts July 15, 2016. The company also plans to launch the iHEARMAX™, a mini behind-the-ear hearing device, on August 15, 2016. iHear’s products are currently being offered in the U.S., with plans to introduce them in China and other markets in 2017." Learn more at iHearMedical.