VIDEO: ‘Robocats’ are helping the elderly fight loneliness

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When elderly shoppers of the Bronx-based RiverSpring Health Plans are feeling low, they may get a cat of their lap — a robotic cat that’s.

The robocat is designed to imitate an actual animal. It miaows, semi-convincingly, and it purrs, very convincingly. It’s fluffy and good to stroke.

And in response to BBC, analysis suggests there’s a actual profit to offering individuals with companion robots, notably in the event that they are affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Susan Garelick, 66, purchased a robocat. After she mentioned goodbye without end to her 14-year-old feline two years in the past, she was lonely and depressed.

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“I was devastated,” she tells The Post from her dwelling in The Bronx. Six months in the past, the caregivers from RiverSpring, her long-term care administration service, gave her a high-tech tabby from Joy for All Companion Pets.

The program goals to assist the elderly deal with loneliness, while not having to look after long-term residing pets, which generally is a problem, says Patty Hron, vp of member providers for RiverSpring Health Plans, which serves the NYC space.

Garelick named the fluffy feline Princess — after her first cat.

“Princess has changed my life,” Garelick says. “She fills the emptiness that I feel.”

The copycat blinks, strikes her paws and responds to movement and contact. “She meows and purrs like a real cat,” Garelick says.

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In addition to retaining members firm, the robotic pets additionally elevate their spirits. Hron says: “Cats purr. Dogs bark. That therapeutic movement of petting an animal is really healing.”

And bonus: No feeding, no cat litter, no allergic reactions, no shedding — and solely the batteries die, not the robotic pets.

Cats react to robocats

Eighteen members of RiverSpring Health Plans have robotic felines — and 7 have robotic canine.

“We are always looking for creative ways to manage our members and keep them at home — happy and engaged,” says Hron. “For our members who are agitated, we’d rather have them interact with a companion pet to calm them down, rather than take medication.”

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The mechanical friends may help with despair, nervousness, agitation and dementia amongst different circumstances, RiverSpring claims.

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“My family thinks it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Garelick. “Princess can’t love me the way a real cat can love me, but she has helped me a lot and makes me happy.”