All of us who live with dogs know the many ways they benefit us. Chief among them are companionship, love, affection, and a sense of calm and happiness. Numerous research projects have studied these real, measurable effects and have unequivocally proven dogs’ positive impact on both our health and well-being.

Recently, some in the world of health care are taking the concept a step further by studying the benefits robotic animals may have for the elderly. Research is finding that this traditionally isolated social group can derive great solace from a robotic “pet.” Though sometimes costly, they have been shown to decrease stress and anxiety and reduce the need for pain and behavior-related medications.

In her September 26, 2020, “The New Old Age” column in the New York Times, Paula Span considered this phenomenon:

Long before the pandemic, loneliness and social…

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