Caring for a pet
Caring for an animal can reduce loneliness and can be a source of support and stress relief.
People living with dementia can benefit from having a pet, it can give them a sense of independence and sense of purpose.
Unfortunately, dementia is a progressive disease, therefore, it is necessary for people with dementia and their carers to think about the future of the pet if the owner may not be able to look after it.
Animal welfare should always be considered and managed accordingly.
Being a pet owner
There is no doubt that pets can bring so much fun and joy into someone's life. Pets make us feel loved and feeling less lonely. Owning a pet is not always a good fit for everyone, including people with allergies, busy families, older adults, people chronically ill, or people living with dementia.
Animals come with responsibilities for life: you have to feed and care for them; change their litter boxes, clean their cages, or take them outside for walks and bathroom breaks, they may also come with expensive vet bills.
Things to consider
Before getting a pet, there are a few things to consider:
Can the person understand the commitment and responsibility involved?
It is important to consider the welfare of the animal: such as feeding, cleaning, exercise and more.
Some pet shops, breeders or rescue centres may hesitate to sell a pet to someone with dementia because they may be worried about the care they might receive
The acceptance of an animal should be considered before getting it, as some people might have allergies, be scared or may not want a pet.
Will the person benefit from regular interaction with a pet? Visits from a friend's or a family member's pet could be a compromise instead of owning an animal.
Consider a lifelike robotic interactive pet. For some individuals, robotic companions might give them the same effect of comfort and calmness.
Benefits of robotic pets
Research suggests that robotic pets can offer similar benefits to real pets such as reduced anxiety and non-judgemental companionship.
Brings joy and companionship
Increased happiness and calm
Reduced agitation and anxiety
Increased engagement through playing
Having a sense of purpose from caring for their pet
Reliving happy memories of a previous pet
Robotic companions can bring some people the same advantages as a real pet. for example, the robotic cat has built-in sensors that respond to motion and touch, moving its head, and paws, it also mews and purrs. The dog version wags its tail, moves, barks and responds to voices. Having a robotic companion can be an effective way to calm and soothe, someone to cuddle and interact with.
Where you can get a companion pet from?
Companion Pet Pups have all the love in the world to give but it won't chew up your slipper! Thanks to built-in sensors and speakers the pup can recreate some of the more delightful moments of owning a dog including being a best friend for ageing loved ones. Built-in sensors respond to motion and touch.
Companion Pet Cat looks, feels, and sounds like a real cat. But they're so much more than soft fur, soothing purrs, and pleasant meows. These cats respond to petting, hugging, and motion much like the real ones you know and love but don't require any special care or feeding.
Who can benefit from robotic companions?
Robotic companions are proven that can bring comfort and joy to seniors' lives, no matter if they live with a disease or are healthy adults no matter their age. Animal therapy is a great way to boost mood and calm agitation in people living with dementia, autism and anyone suffering from pet allergies.
You can choose your own sensory companion here.
Alzheimer Society, can offer information and support if you would like to find out more about dementia, please follow this link.