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Nursing Home Residents Receive Emotional Support From Robot Pets


Senior residents in an Ohio nursing home were gifted companion robot pets from Joy For All’s Companion Pets series. These pets are said to help these aging residents who needed the most emotional support and comfort form a healthy emotional bond.

The pets came from Jewish Family Services who delivered the pets to Heritage Manor Nursing Home last August. According to the program coordinator, the pets provide some of the residents’ basic emotional needs by having another being to care for.

“What this does is it gives them something to love and to attach to, but also to communicate with in a physical sense with touch, with laughter and joy and so many other areas of communication that may not be verbal, but are non-verbal,” said Lynne Azar, the senior outreach coordinator for Jewish Family Services.

Benefits of Robot Pets

It’s no secret that companion robots have a host of benefits for those who may be emotionally, physically, or socially isolated. They also provide an alternative for seniors whose ability to take care of a live pet is limited.

Robot pets are shown to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression among nursing home residents. Another study has suggested that these pets aid in improving the memory of patients who have dementia.

Jewish Family Services aims to expand this initiative to other nursing homes as well.

“I think this will be pretty popular. We started here at Heritage because we’re connected [through the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation], but I think once it’s out there, I’m sure other nursing homes will ask about it,” adds Azar.

Watch: Robot Therapy Pets Gifted to Senior Home Residents

Linda Takahashi

American-born New Yorker Linda Johnson has been fascinated with robotic machines since she was a teenager, when her father, a surgeon, would introduce to her the machines that he used to perform keyhole surgeries. This interest led her to pursue a tech degree at the University of Washington, where she met Sota Takahashi. They married and now have two children. Linda’s father developed dementia later on and was given a robot pet as a companion. She saw how much having a robot pet friend helped her father, which is what led her to create this website and advocate to spread word about robot pets and how they can help both children and the elderly.

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