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Senior care facilities in Tallahassee benefit from robotic therapy pets

Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 19:34:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Socially-isolated seniors and adults are getting a new buddy to hang out with: robotic pets from the Department of Elder Affairs.

Both the cat and the dog versions purr, meow, bark, and if you hold them you can feel a "heart" beat.

The Florida DEA gave one of the companion pets to 375 different seniors and adults living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The goal is to help provide comfort and fight loneliness.

The state secretary says after seeing the success there's more on the way.

"We're going to order another 375 because of the interest in these pets and the profound impact that they can have on someone that's lonely and someone that lives with dementia," said Richard Prudom, secretary of the Department of Elder Affairs. "It's very exciting."

Prudom says caregivers have seen a reduction in stress and better quality of life for people who have the pets.

The pets come as a partnership with state elder affairs and 'Ageless Innovation.'