Omaha seniors with dementia receive donated robot pets for therapy

In addition to these furry friends, 10 tablets were donated.
Improving dementia and loneliness through play is a new concept for residents at one Omaha nursing home.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Eighty-six-year-old Mona Brethuwer has dementia. Her caretaker says she just moved into House of Hope and having a furry companion to help her adjust to her new lifestyle is just the ticket.

Studies have shown that having robotic or lifelike pets can reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, sadness, really to help provide companionship and combat loneliness,” says the director of social services at Florence Home, April Hauf.

But these therapy pets would not be possible without the Twilight Wish Foundation, a national non-profit whose mission is to enrich the lives of seniors.

“We really are just a family here. Our mission is to provide the best quality of life for our residents that we can,” says Hauf.

In addition to these furry friends, 10 tablets were donated. The tablets provide seniors with yet another opportunity to de-isolate, by having more face time with their families.

But make no mistake, robot pets are the big-ticket item.

“You bring joy, yes you do,” says Brethuwer.