Nursing Homes Using Robotic Cats To Comfort Dementia Patients

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Robot technology is continuously evolving, and it is going through different phases of specialization. Manufacturers of various types of robotic devices are building a variety of unique models with specific functions in mind.

The functionality of robots determines their significance and many people are turning to these devices since they make their life simple. For instance, many people seem to hate the chore of vacuuming the house.

If you have a dog or cat, it means you can get very busy vacuuming up all that pet hair on a daily basis. To help with that problem you may want to try to select the best robotic vacuum for pet hair that saves you time and effort to keep your floors clean.

Apart from robot vacuums, robotic technology is also spreading to different sectors. Healthcare facilities are also adopting this technology in the provision of various services. For example, different nursing homes are now using robotic pets to comfort patients with dementia.

Challenges Of Dementia

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Dementia is a mental condition that usually affects seniors. A person who is suffering from this disease experiences some problems in knowing things about current events. Surprisingly, such people can remember things from about 50 years back.

The other challenge of dementia is that the patients often experience agitation. In some instances, they also display bad behaviors that can also be a result of loneliness. Apart from resorting to medication to soothe the patients, healthcare providers are turning to artificial intelligence as an effective remedy.

It is well-known that comfort animals help with depression, anxiety, and dementia, but if a person cannot take care of a real live pet then that option is not available to them.

senior sleeping with pet

Nursing homes for the elderly are now turning to robot cats and dogs to offer comfort to dementia patients. ‘Aspen the cat’ is an excellent example among other similar robots that also play the same function. There are many advantages of using these robotic pets on patients with dementia.

Robotic Cats

For people with dementia, medication does not always ease their restlessness and agitation. In some cases, it is challenging to provide care for patients with dementia. Recent studies show that robotic pets that use artificial intelligence can act as a viable remedy to this challenge.

Some seniors with dementia condition are coping well with the robotic pets that give them comfort. Tom Clark from Albany is 81 year and has dementia, but he finds solace in his pet cat, Aspen. Whenever he is snoozing, Aspen is on his lap.

The robotic pet is fantastic in that it does not require any feeding and it does not go outside like real pets. Clark says he loves his pet so much since it gives him the comfort he needs. Aspen is a robot cat with AI, and it can perform stuff like purring, rolling as well as stretching just like a healthy cat.


In another related scenario, Caring Hands, a department at the Memorial Hospital in Jasper also uses robotic cats to care for dementia patients. In similar fashion to real cats, the robotic pet meows and it even purrs. At times, the robotic cat raises a paw, and it gives the patients a feeling of the real-life experience.

At Caring Hands, the staff members are concerned about making the patients feel dignified and human while they go through the rehabilitation process. The robotic pet is a joy for all including patients and healthcare providers. The patients, in particular, feel as if they are interacting with a living pet which helps them to cope with agitation.

A Pet Cat Calms The Patients

When the patient with dementia is agitated, the robot pet can calm them just like living animals. Agitation at times is a result of loneliness, and the patient can get their pet during such a scenario. The other cool part about the robotic cat is that it reacts to the patient’s interaction.

The more a patient pets the cat, the more it responds by moving, meowing and purring. When the action stops, the cat goes to sleep. For most patients, they would believe that they are playing with a real cat. That feeling of playing with a real cat calms the patient, and they also develop a new role in caregiving.

The patient realizes that the pet also needs care and they form a strong bond. The patients will even get to know that they should look after the animal well. The most beautiful thing about robot pet is that it does not litter and no feeding is required. The patient only needs to give the robot cat love.

A robotic pet is convenient in that it can calm the patient anytime. The cat responds to petting, and it can soothe the patient when they are feeling low. Many residents often fail to notice that these robotic cats are mechanical since they resemble real cats in various respects.

Robotic Cats Provide Companionship To Patients

Some seniors have enjoyed the companionship of pets throughout their lives, and they can find joy in robotic cats.   As such, the at Caring Hands center if the patient has a history of loving pets to help them decide the people who should benefit from robotic friends.

The strategy works well with people who used to stay with pets. Other patients who previously owned pets different pets are also candidates for robotic cats. While the pets are artificial, they can also be good companions to people.

Robotic Cat Is An Alternative To Medication

When patients get robotic pets, they tend to display fewer “behaviors,” and they require less medication. According to staff members at Caring Hands, robot cats provide the necessary behavioral interventions to address the challenges of patients with dementia.

The members of staff at Caring Hands aim to treat specific behavioral issues among their patients without using medication. They also want to make their residents feel at home so that they can quickly recover from their condition.

Pricing

Robo pets like ‘PussyCat’ are affordable, and they play a pivotal role in helping seniors with dementia cope with their condition. The robotic pet costs slightly above $100, and it is an effective remedy to patients with dementia compared to everyday use of medication.

Just like any human being, seniors with dementia also need love, and they can find comfort in their robotic companion pets. Medication alone may not solve their challenges; hence robot pets can also fill the affection gap.

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