In Florida and New York, robot pets are used to help seniors, communities, personal homes, and apartments resist social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All pets under Ageless Innovation, a Rhode Island located company, are happy to interact with residents. The company was founded by former Hasbro employees. It distributes it to 375 people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in the socially isolated elderly in cooperation with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. In cooperation with the New York Aging Society, more than 1,100 pets have got distributed in New York State.
New York is the first state to test these pets with the isolated community seniors in 2019. The pilots placed 60 robot pets (30 cats and 30 dogs) in their homes in 12 counties across the state and lived in isolation from the elderly. Participants got found by using the DeJong Gierveld Loneliness Scale.
In a statement, Richard Prudom, Secretary of DOEA, Florida, said: “We hope that these accompanying robot pets can help calm people with ADRD and provide their caregivers with a respite.” “Because of the interactive pet company, Participation in this innovative program will help many seniors improve their daily mood and bring them greater happiness. ”
Greg Olsen, acting director of the New York State Office of Aging, said in a statement: “This epidemic has affected all of the senior living and we have started working hard to address all concerns, including isolation. We are using innovative methods to respond to public health emergencies caused by social isolation and loneliness, and the robot pet project has much evidence that shows the overwhelming value for the elderly population. By providing companionship, expanding these pets Will help thousands of elderly New Yorkers. ”
According to Ageless Innovation, robot pets look, sound, and feel like real pets.
Ageless Innovation’s co-founder and CEO Ted Fischer told McKnight’s Senior Living: “For many people who like pets but can no longer manage the daily care of real pets, they are a powerful solution.” It has shown that this alternative form of pet therapy can improve the sense of well-being, purpose, and quality of life of people with dementia. Independent clinical studies have shown that senior’s restlessness, social isolation, depression, and sad expressions significantly reduced. Proven to enhance the interaction between carers and family members of the elderly. ”
The company has partnered with Florida’s DOEA and the New York Society of Aging to provide discounted prices that enable states to maximize the number of pets they can distribute. The recommended retail price for cats is $ 109.99, and the recommended retail price for dogs is $ 129.99. Each state agency determines placement, and recipients will be able to raise their robot pets for a long time after the COVID-19 isolation agreement ends.
Lisa Schuhle, director of the Broome County Aging Office in New York, said many older pet lovers could no longer take care of them.
Robot pets are a good alternative. They bark, meow, move, and are able to be snuggled and loved,” Schuler said.
Andrea Montgomery, director of the Office of Aging in St. Lawrence County, New York, said in a statement: “These participants have fallen in love with pets since they started raising them.” “They gave the pets a name and love them every day, and even sleep with them for comfort. The plan significantly reduces the loneliness and loneliness of our seniors. I hope we can give each customer one. ”
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