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Robotic Pets Prompt Fond Memories

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Senior OT Maddy Glover with Walter and Marmalade the cat.

A range of robotic pets are bringing joy to the residents of Hall & Prior’s aged care homes in Subiaco and South Perth.

The Hasbro Companion Pets aim to inspire fond memories for people living with dementia and those who once had farms or a love of animals.

The Companion Pets feature state-of-the-art technology that make them appear incredibly life-like.

The cats roll over when stroked on their tummies, and also purr and meow, while the puppy dogs bark, wag their tails and respond eagerly to both touch and movement.

Direct from the US, built-in sensors in the pets work to create an ‘experience’ for the residents, responding as a real animal would to petting, touching and being in a person’s presence.

Hall & Prior Senior Occupational Therapist Madelyne Glover said the benefits of the pets were far reaching.

“The robotic pets not only provide companionship to our care recipients, they can also be used as a memory prompt to discuss pets that were part of their lives in the past,” Madelyne said.

“For any of our residents who prefer to spend time alone, the cats and dogs can bring them an immense amount of calm and joy.

“And if someone is agitated or feeling a bit down, we give them one of the pets and it really lifts their mood. They’re very beneficial for tactile sensory stimulation.”

Image credit: David Bayliss - Community Newspaper Group

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