Experiences

Experiences from people using JustoCat

JustoCat® has been tested in many care institutions in Sweden, and there are many good stories in the usage in these tests.

When we had the very first prototype ready, I took it to the special housing for dementia patients we had cooperated with in the development process. I was a bit disappointed by the look and functions of the prototype, and the professional caregivers also had their doubts. However, we took the robot cat and went to a caring unit. Therese, the occupational therapist, asked an old lady, drinking coffee in the living room if she would like to meet a robotic cat? “Yes…”, the lady answered. Therese started the robot cat and handed it to the lady. Directly she accepted the cat and held it like a baby to her chest and looked into the cat’s eyes. She really acknowledged the cat and started to talk to the cat, and told the cat about the nine cats she had owned in her former life. As a nurse and nursing researcher it was important for me to not fool the woman or act like she did not know what she was doing, so I introduced myself, and respectfully told her: “You know this is not a real cat, it is a robotic cat.”

With emphasis she answered me: “I know! But, you know, this cat does not need to be feed nor use the litter tray!”

A first test

Ulf and Eric had a very nice father-son relation. Ulf really cared for his father Eric, who was living with late stage dementia at the special housing. Ulfs’ story is that his father, who in some way had lost his ability to speak (a common dementia symptom), got his speaking ability back due to JustoCat®. Ulf told us that his father was very fond of JustoCat® and took care of it. The cat was always with him, either beside him in the bed, in his lap or lying on his walker. Ulf said: “Aside from the fact that the cat had a meaning to my father and was important for him to care for, it gave us something to talk about. We could talk about the cat (Eric named it Knäppen (Snap), due to the breathing sound). To talk about the meals or the weather was so limited and meaningless. I experienced that JustoCat® gave my dad a meaning to the days, an increased quality of life in his last days. When dad died I sat on his left side of the bed holding his hand, on the other side was JustoCat®…”

Eric and Ulf

I am proud to have technology support in providing care for people with late stage dementia, JustoCat® is an instrument for interaction and communication. It gives us something common to talk about and interact with. Using JustoCat® in my care for the patients, provides moments of rest, wellbeing and time to relax together, focusing on JustoCat®. I think JustoCat® is a tool for increased safety and security…

Martin

Assistant nurse, a professional care giver