Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Animal Therapy: Paro, Robotic Seal (Research, Video 4:03)

Let’s talk about seal healing. Paro, a baby harp robotic seal that’s been around for some time continues to convince many it is real. Paro was created to improve social interactions and activity participation among institutionalized older adults. Those with dementia have particularly benefitted with improved brain activity. While therapy with real animals has grown in popularity, the reality of dog bites, allergies, disease, and lack of availability have caused robotic animals to serve as great alternatives with proven results. 

Robot-assisted therapy can be provided as a routine activity program and has the potential to improve social health of older adults in residential care facilities. In a study of robot-assisted animal therapy with older adults, sixteen eligible participants received group robot-assisted therapy using a seal-like robot pet for 30 minutes twice a week for 4 weeks. Assessments of their communication and interaction skills were done. The 12 participants who completed the study showed significant improvement in their communication and interaction skills and activity participation.

Paro, the robotic seal, has done a great job improving social health of older adults in many residential care facilities. You can watch Paro improving lives through seal healing in this video:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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