For seniors who find taking care of a living pet taxing because of deceased mobility or memory loss, realistic “pets,” designed by Hasbro Inc., can bring joy, companionship, and happiness to them. The Pawtucket-based company has created life-like pets, an animatronic cat with soft fur, soothing purrs, and pleasant meows whose movements mimic a real cat and a barking dog, especially designed to bring companionship to older adults.
In 2015, Hasbro’s the JOY FOR ALL Companion Pet brand included a life-like soft and cuddly cat with fur inspired by real feline breeds that responds to petting, hugging and motion just like the real ones but doesn’t require any special care or feeding. One year later, the Pawtucket-based company released a pup with a soft, built-in heartbeat that sounds, and feels like a real dog; when the pup’s “owner” speaks, it looks toward him/her and reacts with realistic puppy sounds.
In addition to captivating the owners of Hasbro Inc.’s life-like care and dog, interaction between caregivers and their loved ones can be enhanced by incorporating lighthearted fun, joy, and laughter into time spent together.
“It took just one year from the initial concept to when the product reached the market,” remembers Ted Fischer, vice president of business development at Hasbro, Inc. The products have been well received by the public and have received 2 Caregiver Friendly Awards and A Dementia Smart Award.
According to Fischer, the Pawtucket-based toy company collaborated with Meals on Wheels America to fight senior isolation and loneliness, which affects one in four seniors across the country. Hasbro, Inc. donated $100,000 to Meals on Wheels America and provided JOY FOR ALL Companion Pets to local Meals on Wheels programs across the country in order to provide comfort and companionship to the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
“Aging loved ones and their caregivers have been thrilled with the Companion Pet Cats, and we are inspired by their positive feedback and personal stories,” said Fischer, in a statement announcing the new life-like products. “The Cat delivers a unique way for all generations to connect deeply through interaction and play, but dog lovers continually asked when we planned to add a dog to the line.
We are truly excited for the new JOY FOR ALL product – the Companion Pet Pup – to bring even more lighthearted fun and laughter to seniors and their families,” says Fischer. “Whether it’s one-on-one time between caregivers and recipients, or multi-generational play with parents, children, and grandchildren, we’re excited to enable families and friends of all ages to connect more deeply through the universal language of play,” he adds.
“We heard from seniors across the country that companionship was important to their happiness. Many live alone, miss having a pet, or are no longer able to care for a pet,” said Fischer. While it’s not a replacement for a pet, JOY FOR ALL products can be a life-like alternative that can provide the joy and companionship of owning a real pet, without the often-cumbersome responsibilities,” he says.
For details about Hasbro, Inc.’s JOY FOR ALL products or to purchase, go to JoyForAll.com.