Robotic Pets Visit Dementia Cafe


ROBOTIC pets have been given to members of a Clacton Dementia Café to help reduce depression and calm agitation.
Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) runs a weekly Dementia Café at its Imperial House base in Rosemary Road, Clacton.
Hosted by a community development officer, the café is for those living with dementia, their family and their friends.
On January 26, 37 people were at the café where they were treated to a special Robopet Day.
People living with dementia were given the robotic pets to stroke and cuddle as they are proven to offer comfort and joy.
Caroline Szabo, community development officer at CVST, said: “The Robopet Day was a great success.
“Everyone loved them.
“It was so lovely to see their faces light up when they interacted with the robotic pets.
“They stroked them, cuddled them and even sang to them.
“Now, 13 people from the café have ordered one of the free pets.”
In Essex, 22,131 people over the age of 65 have dementia and studies have shown that loneliness increases the risk of dying by 26per cent.
Age Concern Colchester and North East Essex, a charity which supports local people to live their lives healthier and happier, has 70 Robopets funded by North Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The robotic cats and dogs are specifically designed to mimic real pets to combat loneliness for people living with dementia.
Jane Diplock, Operations Manager at Age Concern said: “The stress relieving benefits of stroking a pet dog or cat are well documented and the robotic pets are interactive, responding to touch and sound.
“These features have made them a welcome companion for many of our clients who are living with dementia, helping them to feel relaxed and calm.
“We sincerely thank Essex County Council, North Essex CCG and Community Voluntary Services Tendring for allowing us to help our community in this way.”
If you know someone who would benefit from receiving a robopet, contact Age Concern Colchester and North East Essex on 01206 368420.
For more information about the Dementia Café click here or call 01255 425692.

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