Mark's Story

Learn how an unlikely companion calmed Mark’s nerves and gave him a greater sense of ease.

Mark loves dogs and had his own dogs in the past. Living with dementia in his sixties, he is unable to care for one of his own. Mark attends adult day care near his home in Virginia but frequently tried to leave the building, and he got anxious as he waited for his spouse to pick him up at the end of the day.

Robotic Dog Photo

Staff at the center worked with their local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and learned that many people like Mark feel comforted by interacting with lifelike robotic pets. Their AAA loaned them a robotic cat and dog to see whether it was a good investment, and staff and guests alike loved having the furry companions around.

Robotic Cat and Dog

When staff introduced him to Goldie the robotic dog, Mark became calm. He gently stroked the pet and talked to Goldie for about ten minutes. Staff reported that Goldie helped Mark feel relaxed during the day and less anxious when it was time to go home.

Older man sitting at a computer desk petting a soft robotic dog.
Mark enjoys spending time with Goldie, the robotic dog.