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Therapeutic Seal Introduced in North Yorkshire

parol seal

Published by Jon Burke at 2:38pm 15th February 2019. (Updated at 8:52am 17th February 2019)

Dementia patients across North Yorkshire are benefitting from an interactive robotic seal, designed as a therapeutic intervention to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) have introduced the PARO seal, affectionately named Bob, after a four week trial across older people’s services in North Yorkshire, which showed that it had a calming and positive effect on those with dementia and alzheimer’s.

Jill Woodrup, Modern Matron in TEWV mental health services for older people (MHSOP), North Yorkshire, said:

“We first saw the seal during a conference in 2017 and there’s been a lot of research and evidence highlighting the positive benefits of its use in the care of patients living with dementia, alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments.

This led us to contacting the PARO manufacturers, who kindly gave us a four week trial, to test the benefits of the product in our services. During our trial we witnessed some extremely emotional and effective interactions with the seal and we immediately knew it would be an asset to our services.”

The PARO seal has been a hit since its introduction across the Trust’s older people’s services in North Yorkshire.

Jill added:

“A patient who had been experiencing disturbed periods on one of our wards was introduced to Bob within a few hours of us receiving him. They sat quietly stroking him and talking to him, which instantly reduced their anxiety and agitation. Bob is now part of this person’s care plan and is continuing to have a positive effect.”

PARO is an advanced interactive robot developed by AIST, a leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer. It allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals might present treatment or logistical difficulties.

Through sensors and artificial intelligence PARO responds to human interaction as if it’s alive, moving its head and legs and making sounds. It can learn to behave in a way that the user prefers, and to respond to its new name.

PARO has been found to reduce stress, stimulate interaction, and improve relaxation and socialization. Find out more by visiting www.parorobots.com.




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