Delightful robotic cats are being used to comfort dementia patients and in some cases make them feel less isolated.
One person who has benefited enormously from the scheme is Doreen, from Cambridgeshire in the UK. Doreen has vascular dementia and lives alone with the support of carers. Her daughter usually visits regularly but has been “locked down” during the Covid-19 crisis and has been unable to see her mother.
Cameras set up within the home showed Doreen looking increasingly lonely and isolated, spending much of her time staring out of the window.
Her daughter spoke to an occupational therapist who told her about the work of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Technology Enabled Care team and how they could provide robotic cats to help patients feel less lonely. As Doreen loved cats it was felt this might help her.
Doreen loves her cat which has had a positive impact on her life.
Councillor Anna Bailey said: “It may seem a small thing to many of us, but it’s wonderful to see how technology like these robotic cats can be used to enhance someone’s life so much, especially as many people are feeling isolated as a result of Covid-19."
The robotic cat is sold by an American company. It’s a battery-powered cuddly toy that purrs, meows and moves. It also responds to touch when it is petted and hugged.
It has helped patients feel a sense of purpose when they pet and cuddle the cat. It helps encourage a sense of empowerment, companionship and enjoyment.
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