Toy pets bring back the memories at South Perth and Subiaco nursing homes

Concorde Aged Care Home residents Beryl Hartley (with Toby the dog) and Walter Hartley (with Marmalade the cat) are joined by senior occupational therapist Madelyne Glover. Picture: David Baylis
Concorde Aged Care Home residents Beryl Hartley (with Toby the dog) and Walter Hartley (with Marmalade the cat) are joined by senior occupational therapist Madelyne Glover. Picture: David Baylis

TOY, robotic dogs and cats are helping to inspire memories for people living with dementia at a South Perth nursing home.

The companion pets introduced at Concorde aged care home, which are made by US toy giant Hasbo, appear quite life-like as they roll over, wag their tails and purr or bark.

They have built-in sensors designed to create an experience for people, responding as a real animal would to petting and touching.

Hall & Prior senior occupational therapist Madelyne Glover said the benefits had proven far reaching.

“The robotic pets not only provide companionship to our residents, they can also be used as a memory prompt to discuss pets that were part of their lives in the past,” she said.

“For any of our residents who prefer to spend time alone, the cats and dogs can bring them an immense amount of calm and joy.

“And if someone is agitated or feeling a bit down, we give them one of the pets and it really lifts their mood. They’re very beneficial for tactile sensory stimulation.”