Alton care home residents entertained with robotic therapy pets

Alton resident with one of the robotic therapy pets

Brendoncare Alton, run by registered charity, The Brendoncare Foundation, is delighted that during recent months the residents have been enjoying time with robotic therapy pets.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Brendoncare Alton used to receive a weekly visit from Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs into the home. This allowed residents to spend time with them on a one-to-one basis. This was hugely beneficial for some of the residents’ overall well-being. The pets provided sensory stimulation, particularly for residents with dementia who would stroke and talk to the PAT dogs. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these visits had to stop. Staff decided to purchase mechanical cats and dogs as a substitute for the PAT dogs.

What are the benefits of robotic therapy pets?

The mechanical pets have been a welcome alternative. Some of the residents have become very attached to them. They cuddle and stroke them and also chat away with them. One resident, Theresa, is so attached to one of the dogs that she goes everywhere with her ‘pet’.

Another resident, John Kitching, often reciting words from the nursery rhyme, ‘Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been.’ He commented:

“I find the cat calm and comforting and it provides lots of reassurance in the difficult times we are going through at the moment!”

Claire Stoneman-Merret, Activities Coordinator Supervisor, at Brendoncare Alton, added:

“It’s lovely seeing the residents that use the pets, they are always smiling and enjoy conversations with their particular pet. It was hilarious the other day when Theresa asked her dog ‘what do you want for dinner’, and the dog responded with a bark!

We have been keeping the residents busy over recent months. They have particularly enjoyed listening to music that we have downloaded from our music therapist. There have been quizzes and games too. There’s never a dull moment!”.

About Brendoncare Alton

Brendoncare Alton provides nursing care for 80 people, including specialist dementia care and respite care. It has recently undergone a major refurbishment and boasts comfortable and modern accommodation. Each of its five households has its own facilities.

A close care complex adjoins the home, providing the independence and security of homeownership. Added access to the home’s many caring and communal facilities gives complete peace of mind.

For further information and for help answering your care-related questions, please contact Brendoncare Alton on 01420 549 797. Alternatively, you can email alton@brendoncare.org.uk. To visit our dedicated homes page, click here.