On Wednesday 12th November, Jess Main from ITV Wales News came to Brooklands Residential Home in Saundersfoot to talk to Cariad Pet Therapy CIC Project Manager Robert Thomas and the staff of Brooklands Care Home and Caldey Grange. Also in attendance was pet therapy volunteer Janet and her lovely therapy dog Ianto.
Cariad Pet Therapy CIC have introduced these pets as an alternative to actual therapy dog visits which have been suspended due to COVID-19 and they had attracted the attention of ITV Wales News.
Robert Thomas, Project Manager said "once we suspended visits at the end of February due to the pandemic, we tried to think of alternatives. In March, I discovered these robotic pets. I could see they were beneficial to dementia patients in the US (where the pets originate) and we purchased four and set up some marketing materials about their worth.
Because of the uncertainty of COVID-19 in April we did not place them anywhere until September, where we trialled the four we had originally purchased. Due to the overwhelming positive feedback we received, we then put in a successful application with the National Lottery Community Fund Wales, where to date we have placed 30 with the help of the Lottery funding and funding from Haverfordwest Town Council."
It was lovely to hear staff talking about the success of the robot companion therapy pets within their care homes and how they are of benefit, like reducing anxiety, providing companionship and comfort. All staff have been doing an amazing job keeping their residents safe, and the passion they showed during the interviews was a wonderful to see.
The home kindly shared these videos with consent.
Cariad Pet Therapy CIC have now become official stockists of the pets, where all proceeds go back into Cariad Pet Therapy CIC to support their work in the community.
The website to apply for funded pets or to buy them is here:
When the filming with be aired is unknown at the present time, either tomorrow (13th November) or next week.
A big thankyou to Darren and his staff at Brooklands and Caldey Grange, the residents and families of the residents, plus the amazing Ianto and Janet.