Providing Companionship To The Elderly
A while back I wanted to train -Lucy to become a service dog. More specifically a therapy dog. I would enjoy taking her to hospitals and nursing homes and letting her visit with people. The elderly especially enjoy this as they can get very lonely when they are away from home for an extended period of time.
When I get some time… [stifles laughter] I’d still like to pursue this. There has always been something in me that loves hanging out with older people. Maybe that’s why I’m a knitting fanatic? Anyhoo, I read that researchers at the University of St. Louis have been conducting some cool research that goes right alongside my desires to provide this type of therapy to seniors.
A while back Sony made a robot dog called AIBO, which has been “put to sleep” for now due to some cost-cutting within Sony. A study was conducted to show that the AIBO robotic dog could be just as effective as a real dog for providing companionship to someone in a nursing or retirement home. The study was conducted using the AIBO robotic dog, as well as a real dog named Sparky.
When you think about it, the AIBO dog was a lot easier to care for (less feeding and brushing I bet) and is also relatively lightweight making it easy to carry around. It moves a bit slowly, though I feel this is just another benefit to the nursing home crowds. Here is a little video of an AIBO in action!
I’m thinking we should get one for my great-grandmother to help keep her company as well.