Seniors get robo-pets

Seniors get robo-pets

(KAIT/NBC) - A senior home in rural Manitoba, Canada is bringing in technology to help out, but it's not iPods or video games keeping residents entertained.

Robo-pets designed to keep seniors company made their way into the Ashern Personal Care Home.

The first two robotic animals were donated by June Prices' knitting group. She saw the robo-pets on TV and sprung into action. For years, she and others in her knitting group have been donating to worthy causes. This year, they decided to buy two of the robo-pets and donate them.

"Everybody had tears in their eyes just because the reaction of somebody who hasn't spoken very much and starts talking to this dog or this cat," said Price.

For the last year, staff members said they've been trying to make their 20 patients happier. Sometimes staff played music, other times they gave out coffee or a treat. Since the addition of the robo-pets residents' mood have been boosted.

"I love her... Why do you love her? What's so great about her? I love animals, cats and dogs I've loved animals ever since I was a kid. I lived on the farm," said Irene Weidner, 91-year-old nursing home resident.

Robo-pets will be delivered to at least one other nursing home in Manitoba, and other health-care staff members are now considering buying the pets.

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