HELENA — The Rocky Mountain Development Council Area IV Agency On Aging is giving out life-like robotic pets to senior citizens in need.
The "Joy For All" companion pets were bought with federal CARES Act funding and a donation from Blue Cross-Blue Shield. The pets range anywhere from $60-$160, and RMDC was able to buy about 25 cats and dogs.
Now they are looking for homes in need of a furry companion. Education & Outreach Coordinator Michele Mathot says these pets are especially helpful for senior citizens who have Alzheimer's or dementia.
She noted, "Of course we are worried about social isolation folks that are aging in place, and maybe they are doing okay on their own, but they're still going to get lonely, so these pets are really going to help with loneliness, stress, anxiety. "
Program director Jim Marks said, “At first we were skeptical about these pets, but now that we have them and now that we are seeing them get in the hands of people and seeing what they do, seeing is believing, because people are really enjoying and taking off with them."
There is a short application to complete in order to see if you or someone in your care qualifies to receive one of the robot pets.
For more information call: 1-800-551-3191 or the Helena office at (406) 457-7368, and ask for Michele.