Emotional support in care homes thanks to robotic cats

Content originally from Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership

It is well known that pets often soothe people and make a person happy with a sense of purpose, Dementia patients frequently become agitated, anxious and frustrated and could benefit from a pet, but would have difficulty in managing the safe care of a real animal. Research has shown that an effective, drug free way to soothe a dementia patient is to give them a soft toy they can interact with.   So we are introducing the dementia robotic cat to our area. These cats have been shown to provide comfort for people living with dementia. It’s a battery powered cuddly toy that purrs, meows and moves. It also responds to touch when its petted and hugged. During the pandemic where people are unable to visit their relatives in care homes, these cats provide much needed comfort for the people living with dementia.  

Mark Dorado, Community Mental Health Nurse within the Older Adults Wellbeing Team commented: “Our patient used to be very agitated and unsettled but the cat has worked miracles. They are much calmer.”

Irene Lewsey, Head of Mental Health Transformation and Commissioning for Mid Essex CCG said: “We know that for people with dementia having something to focus on, who reacts to them in a positive way can be hugely beneficial and calming. We had pleasure in offering this robotic cat option to an agitated patient in Bluebells care home, which has proven to be a success.”   “We are investing in further robotic cats for other patients with dementia in homes across south Essex.”