Robot Cat Benefits Health of the Elderly

January 20, 2016

 

 

Here’s a question for you.

 

How can you help a bunch of senior citizens to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, increase social interaction and physical activity, lower blood pressure and lessen loneliness possibly all at the same time?

 

Need another hint?

 

Name something white and fluffy with a long tail that goes miaowwwww?

 

If you guessed a cat, you are partially correct.  We are not talking about a real cat. It’s a robotic "companion pet", developed by toy maker Hasbro.

 

His name is Alan and he is the first product in the Joy For All range, a product line initiative created by Hasbro in an attempt to combat larger issues beyond play. 

 

Alan’s meow is impressive, fashioned to reflect the meows of a genuine cat and he purrs also.  He’s fluffy and feels soft when you stroke him.  And while the internal mechanisms of Alan’s  robotic frame may give away any deception indicative of him being real, that doesn’t seem to bother those in his presence. 

 

Jim McGucken, a resident at Lake Park, a home where they care for the elderly, located in Oakland California is one of them.  "He feels like a real cat,” said Jim, as Alan was placed on his lap.   “I can feel the movements inside" he added.

 

Alan’s body has been strung with a series of sensors which allows his unpredictable movements to appear even more realistic.  Tickling Alan’s cheeks makes him meow. When darkness falls, Alan will begin to yawn and nod off.  But it was Alan’s purr that made him appealing to resident, Miriam Beames. It turns out that her own cat Yum-Yum whom she lovingly cherished, died just a year ago.  

 

"Feeling the purr is really nice," chirped Miriam. "For various reasons, I've thought I couldn't get another one yet," She added, speaking of her cat.

 

Ted Fischer, vice-president of business development for Hasbro had this to say: "We don't think this is a replacement for a pet. What we've tried to create is this interactive companion which is familiar and has characteristics and is lifelike."

 

It turns out that this companionship is part of what is extremely healthy for seniors especially those with Alzheimers, dementia or senility.  Other benefits are the nonchalant attitudes of animals.  Pets have this life perspective of living for here and now.  According to New Jersey psychotherapist Dr. Jay P. Granat, pets don’t worry about tomorrow.  “And tomorrow can be very scary for an older person. By having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people," he says. 

 

Joy For All Pets are currently available directly through Hasbro’s website priced at $100.00.  They can also be found on Amazon.com.

 

The above article mentions the importance of companionship for the elderly.  Companionship is just one of the many services that Sisters Helping Seniors provides. 

We also provide a multitude of other New Jersey senior services, including referral care, handling intricate paperwork; running errands and moving. 

 

Our New Jersey business was designed with you in mind, to assist people like you who have been impacted by a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or senility. Our business is not limited to just that however, we at Sisters Helping Seniors have over 35 years combined experience working with New Jersey seniors.

 

Why be overwhelmed with the immense responsibilities of caregiving when it comes to your loved one?  Sisters Helping Seniors is always there when you need us to take on all of your loved one’s needs. We help to minimize the frustration and stress for the New Jersey sandwich generation and other family members so that valuable time can be freed up to enjoy the most important things in life –time with your loved one.

 

Visit our website at SisterHelpingSeniors.com for more information or Give us a call today at (908) 502-6165

 

 

 

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Tonya Y Williams CDP: Founder and CEO

Lisa M. Williams MPA, CALA: CO-Founder

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