|Barked: Sat May 5, '12 8:40pm PST |
|Psych wards are completely different from ERs, other types of hospitalizations, etc. in my experience.
First off, if you're on a locked ward, you're not exactly allowed to wander in & out whenever you feel like it. (That's why they call it a locked ward, duh. ) You are only allowed out into an escape-proof courtyard (which may or may not have any grass in it) under supervision and only at scheduled times.
And yes, it's in the ADA that you are responsible for meeting the needs of your SD and the facility providing the accommodation is not.
So just toileting (never mind exercising) an SD presents a big potential problem for someone in a psych ward.
This leads us to #2. Don't just assume that you can have a friend/spouse/parent/whoever walk your dog for you because the visiting hours in psych wards are (again in my experience) very limited compared to other types of hospitalizations. That's because time during a psych hospitalization is very, very structured - everything's meal time, group time, art therapy, movie night, etc. etc. etc. The staff doesn't want the patients to have the opportunity to withdraw and get more depressed, so the schedule helps keep people engaged. I can see an SD being problematic here too - you will honestly not have very much time or energy to spend on your dog; it all needs to go to you (that's what you're there for, of course).
Finally, #3: not everyone in a psych ward is there for depression. Some may have anxiety disorders and some are potentially violent. Be careful. I've never felt personally threatened in a psych ward but something that sticks out like a dog would could become a target of misplaced aggression.
All that being said, I am not saying I would never take an SD with me on an inpatient stay - but it would depend on the type of facility. One that's unlocked and less structured, I'd consider it. So maybe the thing to do is to talk to your doctor about what to expect and decide together what would be the best thing to do.
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.
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