Staff at a centre for people with dementia have found the purr-fect way to support people who use the service.Advertisement
Thanks to the Rotary Club of South Ribble, the Leyland Centre has a new addition – Phyllis, the robotic cat.
Phyllis is cute and cuddly and behaves in much the same way as a real cat.
She washes her face, rolls over to let you stroke her tummy and even meows and purrs.
But unlike a real cat, she doesn’t trigger people’s allergies, need feeding or need the litter tray.
Research shows that robotic cats like Phyllis are ideal for helping older people or people with dementia.
They encourage people to socialise, keep people calm and help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
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Caroline Wilson, the Lancashire County Council’s day centre officer at The Leyland Centre, said: “The people who come here think Phyllis is wonderful.
“It’s great to see their expressions. They can tell she’s not a real cat, but they get a lot of comfort from her, she’s proving a real hit.
“She helps people as they talk about cats or other animals they have had to the other centre users, as they hold and stroke her. The purring, meowing and movement of the cat is also very calming and she is great fun.
“We’re always looking for different activities for people who come to our centres and a robotic cat is something really innovative.
“Thank you to the Rotary Club of South Ribble for donating Phyllis.”
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Tony Stevens, vice president of the Rotary Club of South Ribble, said: “We thought the robot cat would be a good comforter, would help people to keep calm and be something for people to look after.
“I wanted to donate it to The Leyland Centre. It’s a vital part of our community and we’re always looking to help services like this.
“Having a robotic cat is like having a pet without the problem of cleaning it, looking after it or vet bills
“It’s so realistic it’s amazing. It does everything a real cat would do like purring, washing and going asleep.
“They are designed to help support people with dementia and can also help those who are feeling lonely or isolated.
“I’m blown away by people’s reaction at The Leyland Centre. They have taken to the cat even better than I thought and have even picked the name Phyllis.”
Phyllis has arrived at The Leyland Centre as Lancashire’s 50+ Assembly plans to launch a summer appeal to raise money for more robotic pets.
People or groups are encouraged to stage fund-raising events so that the assembly can buy 101 robotic pets to be used in care homes across Lancashire.
For more information about the summer appeal email: 50+Assembly@lancashire.gov.uk
What do you think about Phyllis? Leave your comments below.