Robot dogs in care industry
Caption: What a lot of Biscuits! Care South home managers with their robotic therapy dogs.
Caption: What a lot of Biscuits! Care South home managers with their robotic therapy dogs
Affectionately know as Biscuit, the robotic therapy pets were given to each of Care South’s 18 care homes, across Christchurch, Poole, Bournemouth and St Ives, near Ringwood, on 5 July, as part of the company’s annual Stars Awards ceremony held at ATC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium.
The Biscuit ‘puppies,’ were presented to a representative from each home, following a successful trial in two Care South homes – including Templeman House in Northbourne, Bournemouth – earlier this year.
The special pets respond to touch and speech and are designed to reduce stress and anxiety in residents.
Templeman House led the way during the trial, using robotic pets as a form of therapy. Biscuit is placed in different locations throughout the home – he makes noises and moves which prompts the residents to interact with him. Since the therapy pet was introduced, he has been a huge success amongst the residents, providing stimulation, comfort and companionship.
Robotic therapy pets are yet to be introduced nationally in dementia care, however very recent research into PARO, a robotic therapy seal, has demonstrated that these can help reduce stress and anxiety, promote social interaction, facilitate emotional expression, and improve mood and speech fluency, in residents with dementia.
Care South quickly recognised the success that Biscuit had at Templeman House and wanted to ensure that residents at all its homes across Dorset, Devon, Somerset and West Sussex shared the benefits of being able to engage with the robotic therapy pets, in addition to their usual wide variety of therapeutic activities.
Susan Willoughby, chief executive at Care South, said, “At Care South, we are continually looking at ways to embrace technology and evolve and enhance the care we provide to our residents, offering the best quality care to help them feel relaxed and most importantly, at home.
“We were very impressed with the results we saw from the introduction of the robotic dog at Templeman House so were keen to be able to offer the same experience to residents at all our homes. Everyone was thrilled with their Biscuit puppies at the Stars Awards!”
The Star Awards also celebrated the achievements of over 50 Care South staff who received formal qualifications during the year.
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