Robotic animals boost wellbeing

Residents from Great Oaks care home in Bournemouth have benefited from the addition of two new robotic animals as part of the home’s pet therapy sessions - Biscuit the robotic dog and Arthur the robotic cat.

Great Oaks is already home to a pet budgie called Smuggler who brings a smile to everyone’s faces when he starts to sing. Since Smuggler was introduced to the home, he has encouraged social interaction and visibly reduced stress and anxiety in residents with dementia.

Biscuit the robotic dog and Arthur the robotic cat are a welcome addition to the home’s dedicated pet therapy sessions. Biscuit responds to touch and speech, just like a real dog would, making him the perfect companion. Arthur mimics a cat’s typical behaviour by meowing, purring and lifting its paws in response to speech.

Michele Blake, wellbeing manager at Great Oaks, explains: “Animals have always been part of our varied care programme at Great Oaks due to the positive impact they have on our residents’ wellbeing and overall health. However, the recent investment into the robotic pets means that our residents now have access to them throughout the day and can pet them for longer.

“One of our residents had been quite unsettled one morning and soon after she interacted with the cat, she appeared much calmer while stroking it, and told everyone how lovely her new pet was. We always welcome new ways to grow and enhance the high standard of care which we provide and look to incorporate new technology into the home that is going to benefit our residents.”