To limit the spread of coronavirus, visits to nursing homes have been restricted for the last few months, which has left a lot of seniors isolated and lonely. To help combat this, some agencies for the elderly have come up with creative ways to make up for a lack of social contact.
The Alabama Department of Senior Services and state agencies that manage programs for seniors in New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania have started a pilot project that provides lifelike robotic companion pets to the elderly. They’re working with robotic pet manufacturer Ageless Innovation to help get the pets - which look, feel and sound like real pets - to isolated seniors to bring them comfort.
And it seems to be working. In Alabama and New York, the programs have seen promising results and participants report feeling less isolated and lower levels of depression.