Robotic companions changing lives of dementia residents

Bolton Clarke Fernhill residents with dementia have welcomed some new family members with the arrival of 10 robotic companion pets funded under Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Local Community Support Grant.

The pets have been developed specially for people with dementia and help people connect with memories and feelings associated with much-loved pets.

Research has linked animal-assisted therapy to improvements in mood and the quality of life for seniors, including those with dementia. Although Robotic pets are thought to be not as effective as their flesh-and-blood counterparts, a recent review of studies on robopets for dementia patients linked time spent with the robots to lower levels of depression and agitation.

And since they don’t need walks, food or veterinarian visits, these cuddly robots are considered a low-maintenance option for people who are no longer able to care for a pet.

After visiting Bolton Clarke Fernhill, Mayor Peter Flannery said it was a joy to see residents come to life after spending time with their new furry friends, which were purchased using the $2,000 Council grant.

‘It’s amazing to see their faces light up with pure joy when they interact these amazing new robotic pet companions,’ said Mayor Flannery .

‘Residents in aged care homes have been some of the most isolated people during COVID-19 due to their high risk, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.’

Fernhill residential manager Anna Ward said she’d already started to see a change in residents since introducing the new robotic pets.

For more information about Council’s grant programs visit their webpage here 

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