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Robotic animals delighting people with dementia

Posted: 9am 26 Oct 2021

Bolton Clarke Fernhill residents with dementia have welcomed new family members with the arrival of 10 robotic companion pets thanks to a Moreton Bay Regional Council Local Community Support Grant.

Mayor Peter Flannery says it is a joy to see residents at the Caboolture facility come to life after spending time with their new furry friends, which were bought with the $2000 grant.

“It’s amazing to see their faces light up with pure joy when they interact with these amazing new robotic pet companions,” he says.

“The pets have been developed specially for people with dementia and help people connect with memories and feelings associated with much-loved pets.

“Residents in aged care homes have been some of the most isolated people during COVID-19 due to their high risk, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Positive influence

Mayor Flannery says there is an array of grants available to community groups, clubs, and organisations each year to help change the lives of their members and residents.

“So please jump on Council’s website and see what grants are available to you,” he says.

Fernhill residential manager Anna Ward says she's already started to see a change in residents since introducing the new robotic pets.

“Our new Fernhill community is already an innovation hub and we’re excited to also be drawing on the latest in research-based dementia care,” she says.

“Research shows positive benefits from interacting with and providing care for pets, including robotic pets.

“Our residents have loved meeting these new companion pets, which have provided opportunities for people to share memories.”

Raising awareness

Councillor Adam Hain (Div 3) says the pets were the perfect way to highlight Dementia Awareness Month last month.

“I’m so proud to help Bolton Clarke put a smile on the faces of the beautiful men and women who live in their Memory Support Unit,” he says.

“They’ve all had long and full lives, and they still have so much to give. Dementia Awareness Month is a good opportunity to shine a light on these people and make sure they’re not left behind.”

Find out more about Council’s grants program here.

Read more local news here.

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