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Some senior citizens in Florida who have been isolated because of to coronavirus-prompted social distancing steps in the condition may well quickly acquire a furry companion —  albeit a robotic a person.

The Florida Section of Elder Affairs on Monday declared that it began offering approximately 400 — 375 as of this writing — therapeutic robotic animals to “socially isolated seniors and older people residing with Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Dementia (ADRD).”

The company explained the canine can assistance beat social isolation and depression among more mature older people and those with ADRD “by improving all round temper and good quality of life.”


A 2018 study by the AARP Foundation observed that a single-third of U.S. grownups age 45 and more mature claimed sensation lonely.

“Family caregivers could expertise a reduction in worry, and caregivers profit when companion animals allow for improved engagement with the more mature adult and their natural environment,” it additional.

World pandemic apart, loneliness is not an unusual difficulty for middle-aged and more mature older people. A 2018 study by the AARP Basis located that just one-third of U.S. older people age 45 and older described experience lonely. The basis explained at the time that selection will probable increase as the quantity of getting older adults in the state proceeds to increase. In addition, much more than 20 p.c of people 60 or older experience from a psychological or neurological dysfunction, together with dementia, according to a 2017 report from the Entire world Health and fitness Organization.

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“We know social isolation disproportionately has an effect on older grownups, and COVID-19 has demanded people today with dementia and their caregivers to continue to be by yourself for prolonged durations of time,” reported Section of Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom, in a assertion.

Robotic pets are an different to regular pet remedy, but “research exhibits they have identical beneficial effects,” as for every the Florida Section of Elder Affairs.

“They are built to respond to movement, touch, and seem. Robotic cats and dogs are ordinarily given to men and women with ADRD, but data has revealed that working with pets to decrease social isolation for more mature grownups is hugely successful,” the news release reads.


The robotic pet dogs have been developed by Ageless Innovation, a enterprise that develops “fun and engaging” items for older grownups.

“We appear forward to offering these therapeutic robotic animals to those who will reward from their companionship,” added Prudom.

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