“Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon Mini Pearl” has made a significant impact on Maryann’s emotional well-being since they moved in together several months ago. The two will be very happy together for many years to come, provided Maryann remembers to replace Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon Mini Pearl’s batteries regularly. Sarah – as we’ll call her for short – is a animatronic cat Although she has never been particularly drawn to animals, the companionship and comfort provided by her robotic cat have transformed Maryann’s daily routine. While she was not previously particularly animated herself, these days Maryann spends time interacting with the cat, talking to it – even sleeping with it – and Maryann has even begun increasing her interaction with other people in LifePath’s Cohoes Companions Adult Day Services Program, where she participates weekly and “adopted” Sarah.
LifePath was able to gift Sarah to Maryann thanks to an innovative program of the New York State Office for the Aging, which provided Joy for All animatronic dogs, cats and birds to aging services providers across the state. The animatronic pets provide seniors, especially cognitively challenged or neuro-atypical seniors, with companionship and emotional support. These pets are becoming increasingly popular in assisted living facilities and senior centers, and can help improve the overall well-being of older adults and provide them with a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Studies have shown that interacting with robotic pets can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and even lower blood pressure. They are low maintenance, requiring no feeding or cleaning, making them ideal for older adults who may have mobility issues or be unable to care for a live pet. LifePath is privileged to be able to provide these “friends” to their new family members through its partnership with the NYS Office for the Aging.