Use of Robotic Pets in Memory Care Therapy
Author: University of Utah | Contact: utah.edu
Peer-Reviewed Publication: Yes | DOI: https://js.sagamorepub.com/cjrt/article/view/11452/8352
Synopsis: Researchers find robotic pets can be helpful in therapy, without some of the disadvantages and unpredictability of real animals. Nelson notes that researchers have already begun to study how people with dementia interact with robotic pets, but haven’t yet developed a unified protocol to give, say, assisted living staff a plan to gain the most benefit from the pets’ use through directed interaction. In recreational therapy, we always talk about providing person-centered care. So it’s not really about what I think about an activity. If somebody enjoys it and it brings happiness, it’s really about what they think about it.
Robotic pets are artificially intelligent machines that are made to resemble real pets. Most people buy robotic pets to get similar companionship that real pets offer, without some of the drawbacks of caring for live animals. Multiple studies have shown that we treat robotic pets as real pets, despite their apparent differences. However, there is some controversy regarding how ethical using robotic pets is and whether or not they should be widely adopted in elderly care.
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