Robotic pets for the elderly

- Pets are wonderful. They brighten our day, keep us calm and even help us with stress. However who would have thought a robotic pet could bring so much joy to the elderly?

A realistic, robotic cat made by Hasbro has soft fur that gently vibrates as it purrs. The kitten is a companion pet to Louann Wyckoff who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Louann is a resident at the Hebrew home at Riverdale, in the Bronx.  The nursing home has a robust animal-assisted therapy program. They have real dogs, birds, and fish. Nine months ago, they got robotic companion cats.

Mary Farkas, director of therapeutic activity, says she has seen the benefits of the robotic pet first hand, especially with patients with Alzheimer's.

Hasbro just came out with the companion Pet Pup, a golden retriever with realistic fur, bark back technology and built-in sensors that recognize human touch.

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