21 Mar IT’S RAINING ROBOT CATS AND DOGS IN HOMES ACROSS MID AND SOUTH ESSEX
Following a trial using robotic cats with a resident in a local Essex care home – the evidence of the positive impact was so great that over 200 more have been purchases to provide more to support people affected by dementia.
It is well known that pets often soothe people and make a person happy with a sense of purpose, Dementia patients frequently become agitated, anxious and frustrated and could benefit from a pet, but would have difficulty in managing the safe care of a real animal. Research has shown that an effective, drug free way to soothe a dementia patient is to give them a soft toy they can interact with.
Introducing the dementia robotic cat and dog. It’s shown that the robotic pets provide comfort for people living with dementia. It’s a battery powered cuddly fake cat that purrs, meows and moves which responds to touch when its petted and hugged.
During this COVID emergency, when people have been unable to visit their relatives, they have provided a much-needed comfort to the 100 residents who have already received one of the 300 cats and 100 robotic dogs purchased by the mid and south Essex CCG’s, to support residents with dementia.
Mark Dorado, Community Mental Health Nurse within the Older Adults Wellbeing Team at NELFT, commented;
“We’ve seen residents who have been very agitated and unsettled, but as soon as these bundles of joy are handed to them, their smiles return, they seem to work miracles, they seem much calmer.”
Irene Lewsey, Head of Mental Health Transformation and Commissioning for Mid Essex CCG, who purchased an initial robot pet in Thurrock to support a resident said:
“We know that for people with dementia having something to focus on, who reacts to them in a positive way can be hugely beneficial and calming. We had the pleasure in offering our first robotic cat to an agitated patient in a care home, which has proven to be a success.
“We have now invested in further robotic cats and dogs other people with dementia in homes across mid and south Essex and are already seeing very positive results.
“But we won’t be stopping there, we are investing in many more tools over the coming months to support residents to have a better quality of life, both for those with dementia and for people with learning difficulties.”
In addition to the ‘cats and dogs’, further work has been done to support people going into hospital with dementia by providing an early pilot of Magic Tables, these are sensory tables that support people with dementia by helping them to interact with music, pictures and games.