New York City

NYS to deliver more furry, animatronic robo-pets to lonely seniors

June 14, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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STATEWIDE — NEW YORK STATE will be delivering another 4,725 “animatronic pets” and reconfigured games to older adults through the state’s aging network, the state Office for the Aging recently announced. Since 2018, NYSOFA has distributed 31,500 robo-pets in partnership with Ageless Innovation to older adults who are socially isolated and lonely. The furry, lifelike critters make realistic sounds and motions, providing comfort and companionship. NYSOFA found that 75 percent of elders receiving these pets reported “a significant reduction in loneliness as well as a 75 percent decrease in pain.” One director described a 97-year-old bored and confused woman with dementia who received an animatronic cat while in hospice care. “Protective and nurturing of her newfound companion, she petted it, tended to its paws, and talked to it every time it meowed.”

The initiative also distributes familiar games like Scrabble, Bingo, Trivial Pursuit Generations and Game of Life, which have been redesigned with larger fonts and intergenerational storylines.


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