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.
“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.
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.
“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.”