Here Is How Robot Pets Can Help Treat Elderly Dementia Patients

You may love your pet — but have you ever thought that your pet is a little also stay high between walking and feeding all the time? Well, great news: there’s a robotic alternative that offers all the fun of having a real cat or dog without the hassle of raising them, you know, surviving.

In fact, robotic pets may even have the added benefit of improving the lives of the elderly through pet therapy, and at the same time being cheaper and safer than the flesh-and-blood version.

In one Article published on July 20 inside Canadian Journal of Recreational Therapy, Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a procedure that uses robotic pets as part of therapy for dementia patients. Their protocol outlines exactly how to run a session using robo-feline or robotincludes questions to ask the patient, session length, and how their interactions with the machine animal should be assessed.

A companion cat from Joy For All.

Fun for all companion pets / Ageless Creation

“Our protocol has questions like: Do you want to pick your dog’s ears? Do you want to pet him? Do you want to brush him? ” Rhonda Nelson, a recreational therapy researcher at UofU, said in a press release. “And then we’re evaluating how people respond to those different cues so we can then provide some guidance to people on how to take the most beneficial actions with the animals. this.”

Therapy sessions begin with a therapist removing the animals from the carrier and letting the patient choose the animal they want to interact with. The patient can then stroke its synthetic fur and listen to the robot as it simulates a growl or bark. Meanwhile, the therapist asks them questions about their past in hopes of unlocking memories the patient may have related to their own pets.

Robotic animals, such as animals from a robotic pet therapy company Joy to all companions can also be purchased at a fairly affordable price. For around $65 to $150, you can get yourself a robotic puppy, a cat, or even a companion bird. Because they are synthetic, they are also hypoallergenic and may provide a safe alternative to introducing real animals to dementia patients.

Robotic pets like those offered by Joy For All can enrich the lives of dementia patients.

Fun for all companion pets / Ageless Creation

The protocol provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for the use of such robotic pets in therapeutic settings and was developed after two sessions with five elderly patients in long-term care facilities. It is worth noting that it was also clear to everyone involved that the pets were not real.

Although the results of the sessions did not give a definitive indication of whether the robotic pet therapy could improve their cognitive function or memory, all patients did. love the interactions. Some even talk to and coo with robotic pets. The study’s authors believe that this involvement alone can have enormous benefits for patients’ psychological well-being.

“People in long-term care facilities are in a position where everyone is taking care of them,” explains Nelson, “and are in a role where you are nurturing something else, or you are the caregiver. I think it’s also very comforting psychologically. people feel like, even though they know it’s not life, but they are giving love and compassion to something and it is reciprocating. “

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