Robotic seal helps treat people with Alzheimer’s, dementia

Photo Credit: KSNT

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Therapy doesn’t always come from a psychiatrist, or a prescribed medication, it can look like a furry seal.

Legend at Capital Ridge is taking up the latest technology to help treat its residents with “Evie,” an advanced robotic seal equipped with thousands of sensors, video cameras in her eyes, and 32 gigabytes of memory, all wrapped up in furry, cuddly bliss.

She simulates calm and nurturing sounds to residents. But she isn’t a toy.

Studies show a treatment session with her can have significant therapeutic effects, including a possible decrease in the amount of medication residents take for anxiety, depression and aggressive behavior.

She’s been at the facility for a month and she can learn and recognize the residents who are with her.

“Evie gets to know the residents in a unique and personal way,” says Capital Ridge Resident Director Lesa Duryea. “But the families just can’t wait to spend more and more time with her.”

And Evie can help do something else for Alzheimer’s patients.

“To create new pathways for learning and remembering,” says Marla Lopeman.“ There’s no cure for this disease but there are opportunities to make life better for each one of those people who are affected by it. And Evie certainly does that for us.”

Legend Senior Living is planning to distribute seals like her to more of its facilities.

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