Robotic Pets Are the Latest Innovation in Dementia Care

Loneliness is an enormous issue for older adults. A 2018 survey found out that about one-third of adults over the age of 45 experience feelings of loneliness, and more than 20 percent of people 60 and older are affected by mental an neurological disorders such as dementia, which can cause depression and anxiety along with cognitive issues.

However, research has linked animal-assisted therapy to vast improvements in the quality of life for seniors, especially those affected by dementia. Robotic pets are associated with lower levels of depression and agitation. They don’t require the maintenance of their flesh-and-blood counterparts.

“Pets play an important companion role whatever your age,” said Andrew Sixsmith, director of the Science and Technology for Aging Research Institute at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. “For some people with dementia, a real pet might not be feasible, so this might help.”

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