Since the coronavirus outbreak, strict visitation rules imposed at nursing homes in Florida have left some seniors feeling isolated.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs announced today that it’s providing 375 therapeutic robotic pets to socially isolated seniors and adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to a news release issued by the agency.
“We know social isolation disproportionately affects older adults, and Covid-19 has required people with dementia and their caregivers to remain alone for extended periods of time,” the release said.
The pets help the seniors combat social isolation and depression by improving their overall mood and quality of life, the agency said.
“The robotic pets offer an alternative to traditional pet therapy, and research shows they have similar positive effects. They are designed to respond to motion, touch, and sound. Robotic cats and dogs are usually given to people with ADRD, but data has shown that using pets to decrease social isolation for older adults is highly successful,” the release said.