Helping Hands with Capuchin Monkeys

Nov 11, 2010
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Everybody needs a helping hand from time to time, so instead of a service dog to assist a person with disabilities, how about two helping hands in the form of a Monkey Helper?

Helping Hands is a nonprofit organization serving those who are paralyzed or people with severe mobility impairments by providing, free of charge, a highly trained capuchin monkey to assist in daily living. Capuchin monkeys live a long life and can often stay with its owner for 20 – 30 years! Helping Hands monkey helpers are said to transform lives by offering hope, freedom, empowerment, and a giving sense of independence to mobility-impaired individuals. The monkey can help a person to scratch an itch, open a microwave or refrigerator, open a lid and put a straw in the bottle, pick up the remote, reposition a hand or a foot after a muscle spasm, assist with use of a telephone and computer, or handle a DVD. “The accomplishment of seemingly simple tasks establishes a foundation for a trusting relationship between a monkey and his companion.”

Meet the monkeys states that after extensive training, each monkey is provided with lifetime medical care overseen and paid for by Helping Hands. “All together, the cost to raise a monkey from birth through training represents a $38,000 investment,” but Helping Hands does not charge the recipient even a dime.

The placement process starts while the monkey is still in training. After the monkey has learned helping tasks and has been matched to an ideal candidate, then the monkey is custom trained for specific skills that individual might have. “A Helping Hands placement specialist travels to the recipient’s home to teach the new partners how to care for and work with each other and to install the new adaptive equipment they will use in their life together.”

Here are the Monkey Helper recipient guidelines. Most of the equipment used to communicate with a monkey is attached to an electric wheelchair. Also very important is the need for independence and the desire for companionship. Enthusiasm is very important, such as taking control of one’s application process.

So if you or someone special in your life might benefit from a Helping Hand Monkey Helper, go ahead and apply! Other people with disabilities apply to help teach the monkey and act as a foster home. Why not have a cute and very unique helper-companion?

Author: Tessa

  • Mathew E. Gray

    Can a service monkey be used for PTSD I believe that could talk with it and it could help be a friend to me and as other animals be understanding to my mood and who I am cause m ptsds have led to split personality. I really have always wanted a monkey and if I could get a service animal thatd be awesome however I’m on Ss and don’t get enough to get a service animal itd prolly take me years to save for a service monkey I saw in the post the helping hand organization uses them for physically disabled but I really am curious about mentally I think if it were trained to do to the broom sink and just to get me to brush my teeth go scream in the shows hey come here or grab my finger and drag me to the shower haha knock in the door to get me to go for a walk I just need a little assitance emotionally and physically and yeah ill give you guys a laugh I can understand animals so we could talk and I would totally teach it to write and draw maybe even to speak clearly idk sorry if I bothers ya just really think a monkey could do alot for me and my issues and would be a god companion cause we are in an age where people don’t want to understand