A ROBOTIC seal pup is providing pet therapy without risk or mess at a Lavington aged care home.
Paro has been part of UPA’s Murray Vale Shalem hostel for about a fortnight and care manager Jaqui Hastings said the response from the residents had been incredible.
“Things like reducing anxiety and agitation, promoting communication,” she said.
“We’ve got a resident who hadn’t been communicating and she sat and spoke to him for two hours.”
Designed in Japan and costing $7000 a seal, Paro makes life-like noises and snuggles in to sleep on laps. A seal was used because people tended not to have preconceived ideas about them.
“We do have a dog, a cat and some fish but, you know, some people don’t like dogs and some people don’t like cats, but everybody likes a baby seal,” Mrs Hastings said.