There have been many studies that aim to help people living in nursing homes as they battle off illnesses and the effects of the lifestyle change. Now, it looks as though robotic pets are the next big thing for nursing home patients.
A personal battle
Tom Stevens is one of the many who have worked toward creating robotic pets for nursing home patients, but why? Tom admits the idea came after his own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although she already had a dog, Tom states that his mother trained the pet to be aggressive toward her new caregiver and they were forced to remove the dog. His mother was devastated, and Tom wanted to find a way to help.
Creating a substitute
Tombot is one of the many robotic pets on the market. The robotic dog has been designed to look as life-like as possible to try and make patients in nursing homes feel as though they are with the real thing. Other brands, such as PARO and Aibo, use different ideas. PARO features a life-like harp seal while Aibo uses a more robotic looking dog that still comes with all the wonders of having a real dog by our side.
Many of the robotic pets come with life-like features to make them seem as real as possible. Some have been covered with soft fur to mimic a pet’s real touch, while others use realistic expressions and movements. This could be anything from how they run around or shake to the facial expressions they pull when they interact with their new owners. The best bit? Some robotic pets even have voice commands, too.
Plenty of benefits
Thankfully, there are a host of benefits that come with introducing pets to nursing homes. Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s are able to relive memories from the past, while others state they feel less agitated and stressed when with a pet. As if that wasn’t enough, these robotic pets help nursing home patients reap all the same benefits without the need for anyone to care for a living animal. It seems as though there’s no end to the benefits.
As well as helping to lower many physical side effects that come with living with a cognitive illness, it appears as though these robotic pets have even been able to eliminate many patients’ need for medication, many take medicine to help feel calm, but studies have shown some could lead to faster cognitive decline in the long run. These robotic pets are now helping to improve many people’s lives in more ways than one.
There have been many studies into the effects of pets on nursing home patients, and it turns out our four-legged friends come with a host of benefits. Now, these robotic pets are the next big thing as they help to provide all the positives that come with pets without the worry of having a living pet to care for, too.