Robopet fostering scheme to aid people with dementia
Pets play an important companion role in many people’s lives; however giving a home to a real pet whilst caring for someone with dementia may not always be feasible. Robotic pets have been developed in recent years, and although will never be as an effective replacement as their live counterparts, they have many attributes that can have a positive impact on those with dementia and their carers.
A recent review of studies on Robopets for dementia patients suggested time spent with them lowered levels of agitation and depression*. For those with dementia who have fond memories of owning a pet in their past, spending time petting their Robopet, keeping them calm and engaged for periods of time, may enable their carer to have some quality time to themselves.
We have recently received funding from the Devon County Council Carer’s Innovation Fund to roll out our Robopet Fostering Scheme. The scheme will enable carers to ‘foster’ a pet for an initial period of six weeks. This will allow enough time for the carer to ascertain if their cared for person benefits from having the pet in the home and if they are able to get some respite from their caring role whilst the Robopet is in use. Following this period, the carer will have the opportunity to adopt the pet!
For more information or to apply for the scheme, please contact our Helpline 03456 434 435 or chat online by clicking on ‘Ask’ on www.devoncarers.org.uk.
Thank you to the Devon County Council Carer’s Innovation Fund to enable us to offer these schemes to carers.
* NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula ‘What are the effects of robopets on the health and wellbeing of residents of care homes. A systematic review of qualitive and quantitative evidence.’