CARLSBAD — Twelve new dogs and cats have taken up residence inside GlenBrook Health Center, designed to help residents living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. These pets look, act and feel like real animals, but don’t let the fur and heartbeats fool you, they run on batteries.
GlenBrook, at 1950 Calle Barcelona, introduced these robotic pets earlier in 2018. The health center says they’ve seen the healing power of the devices on residents, their visiting family members and team members as well.
Each robopet exhibits many behaviors real cats and dogs do. On cue, they purr, bark, cuddle and even roll over. It’s easy to forget for a moment that they’re not real pets. That’s because, like pets often do, they spark engagement and interaction from all who come in contact with them.
The GlenBrook team said residents love spending time with them, and simply petting or participating in activities together is a source of joy for many. Research has shown that robotic animals can improve the psychological health of older adults living with dementia.
Robopets have also been found to reduce stress and improve relaxation, motivation and socialization among both seniors and their caregivers.