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The Broome County Office for Aging is Giving Away Robot Pets to Qualified Seniors


Robot pets are being given away by the Broome County Office for Aging to help seniors deal with anxiety or social isolation.

The Broome County Office for Aging is Giving Away Robot Pets to Qualified Seniors

After seeing the social and behavioral effects brought by the COVID pandemic, the Broome County Office for Aging thought of a program that can help aid affected seniors dealing with social isolation, depression, and memory impairment. The program consists of giving robot pets; specifically robot dogs, robot cats, and robot birds to qualified seniors.

Program Director, Shellie Spinelli, acknowledges how these robot pets can help affected seniors from the COVID pandemic. “A lot of folks were not affected by COVID the disease so much as they were by the shutdown and the isolation”, Spinelli says. Seeing the need to help combat such effects, the Broome County Office for Aging has put up a screening process that will help them determine the qualified seniors who are in need of a robot pet companion.

Robot pets are known to give many benefits to their owners, especially aging seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of real-life stories and testaments of how robot dogs even helped seniors by providing them with emotional support, physical activity, and mental stimulation.

Should you know anyone or have a loved one who may benefit from a robot pet companion, you may call the Office for Aging at (607) 778-2411. A screening process will be conducted and if qualified, the Broome County Office for Aging will provide a robot pet for free.

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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