Robotic pets could be a benefit for your family member

CJ Coombs

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This puppy could be a good substitute for a loved one in a care center.Joy for All Companion Pet Pup.

According to HomeCare, a study finds Joy for All "robotic companion pets improve interactions, behaviors and quality of life in hospice dementia patients."

There have been other reports indicating that animals help with therapy for patients, but for patients who are in the hospital or who are hospice patients, having a real animal in the room could present a problem.

Sometimes a patient misses their family pet. Some facilities might allow for a roaming cat. But it probably isn't an option in other health care facilities to have your dog in your room.

Committed to finding an alternative solution, Alacare Home Health & Hospice president John G. Beard discovered Joy for All Companion Pets from Ageless Innovation: lifelike, robotic cat and pup pets that were uniquely designed to address the needs and wants of older adults, their families and caregivers to promote fun, joy and play. (Source.)

Joy for All Companion Pets received input from adults that helped to produce robotic pets which feel and sound like real pets, but don't have the responsibilities that come with owning a real pet.

In 2018, a study was conducted regarding the effects of a companion pet. The study involved some hospice patients in which data were collected before, during, and after the robotic pup or cat model placement with a patient.

It was discovered that anxiety decreased and the well-being of the patient had increased. Also, the presence of the robotic companion helped reduce "expressions of sadness."

Seeing a loved one who struggles with communication open up toward another person can be monumental for a family member of someone with dementia.

There were key findings from the research that indicated that having a robotic companion pet improved the quality of life for older persons associated with depression or being isolated. If you have cared for an older parent, for example, you know that being isolated can be a sad experience for your parent.

Although we were dealing with the pandemic in 2020, according to CNN's article, Lifelike robotic pets are helping isolated seniors avoid loneliness,

'Pretty,' was the word an Alabama senior used to describe the lifelike robotic companion pet she received from a new pilot project administered by the Alabama Department of Senior Services. It was the first word she had said in a long time, according to department Commissioner Jean Brown. (Emphasis added.)

Also, as reported in VeryWell Mind, in November 2021, as senior citizens are facing isolation and dementia, robotic pets are helping them.

While there needs to be further research to show long-term benefits of the robotic pets with dementia patients, from testing so far, there was an improvement with patients as far as moods and communication.

The robotic pet brings comfort, companionship and lowers stress while helping the individual relax and feel calm. While preventing loneliness, it can also reduce depression and improve socialization and communication abilities. (Source: Dr. Holly Schiff, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist.)

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30 years of legal secretarial experience, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, my life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO
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