Entertainment/Recreation for the Elderly
Sometimes, it’s not only diseases that can kill the elderly. Sometimes, it’s loneliness.
Miriam Beames, whose cat had died in 2015, only had praises for the robotic “companion pet” cat manufactured by Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toy company Hasbro, saying, “Feeling the purr is really nice.” Indeed, Hasbro has found the perfect business opportunity in its Joy For All line of toys as the population of senior citizens in the United States and the whole world starts to rise.
Aside from Hasbro’s toy for the elderly, there is also a Japanese-designed robotic seal called Paro which aims at bringing delight and serve as a muscle memory tool for elderly citizens afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Paro, which is valued at around $5,000, Paro is used as a medical toy in hospitals all around the world but mostly in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Paros are also available in nursing homes in Britain.
Doctors say the elderly who care for something – for instance, their grandchildren, or a pet – lead much more fulfilling lives because their thoughts turn away from the fact that most days they need assisted care.
According to Hasbro vice president of business development Ted Fischer, taking care of a pet is also good for the elderly because there is a “relational memory” of when they were young, for most of them took care of pets during that stage in their lives; thereby presenting them with a pet to take care of helps jog their memory as they age further. Fischer added that they are developing designs for more animal pets, with them eyeing the development of robotic dogs soon.
Taking care of a pet is one way for senior citizens to keep their minds sharp, their bodies thriving, and their spirits high, aside from engaging in outdoor activities and playing games like puzzles, board games with family and friends and investing their time in a hobby such as bird watching, crocheting, among others.