Robot pets improving residents’ wellbeing

Robotic pets are bringing comfort to Carinity residents in Queensland.

Electronic creatures are providing comfort to Carinity residents in Queensland.

Larissa Gear

The life-like therapeutic toys – which are available to residents living in all of Carinity’s 12 aged care communities across Queensland – are “bringing much joy to residents” said the not-for-profit provider’s aged care regional residential manager Larissa Gear.

Research has shown that the electronic cats and dogs – which have realistic fur and respond to hugging and petting – have both physical and psychological benefits for older people, including those living with dementia.

“Just like the use of real-life creatures for animal-assisted therapy at Carinity aged care sites, the robotic cats and dogs can offer a comforting presence for residents,” said Ms Gear. “Studies have shown that these companion pets can enhance the wellbeing of older people.”

Among the benefits, the robotic cats and dogs can help improve people’s moods and communication capabilities.

Carinity Brookfield Green resident Daphne Green

“Some residents living with dementia who are unresponsive to other therapies may brighten up, pat and talk to the companion pet,” said Ms Gear.

“Other users will reminiscence about the animals they owned in their younger years, prompting them to share their own pet stories and happy memories.”

Cassandra Donald – customer service coordinator at the Carinity Summit Cottages care community in Mount Morgan – said residents have been delighted to hang out with their new furry friend.

“The cat has been a welcome addition to our community,” said Ms Donald. “The residents love her.”   

Main image: Resident Margaret McGourty and Kerrie Kirk from Carinity Karinya Place

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Tags: carinity, larissa gear, therapeutic pets,

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