The objective of the campaign is to gather the necessary value for the acquisition of a therapeutic robot that promotes well-being and improves the quality of life of people with dementia.
World´s older population is now growing, a trend also registered in Portugal, with an estimate of 32% of the population aged over 65 in 2060. Associated with this aging process, there is an increase in dementias prevalence. The estimate of Portuguese over 60 years with dementia is around 160,000.
These numbers raise great concerns about the treatment and promotion of the well-being of these people. Parallel to the scientific investment in the treatment area it is imperative to innovate in rehabilitation methodologies and promotion of the quality of life of people with dementia.
The therapeutic robot, whose main goal is to improve the social, emotional and cognitive performance of people with dementia, simulates a baby seal, which expresses emotions, emits real sounds, opens and closes the eyes, moves the head and the fins and reacts to the touch , light and sound.This robot has body temperature and weighs about 2.5 kg.It is endowed with artificial intelligence, being able to learn the name, to react emotionally when we call it and to learn and repeat behaviors that result in positive responses of those who interact with it.
It has a hygienic artificial skin with an anti-bacterial and anti-stain finish, allowing its use in hospitals.
This robot stimulates the following areas:
- Cognitive: Attention, gnosis, memory, reminiscences;
- Affective / Emotional: Expression of positive emotions;
- Sensorial: Tactile, auditory and visual stimulation;
- Psychological: generates relaxation; increases motivation; reduces levels of stress, agitation, anxiety and distress;
- Social: fosters social interaction and communication reducing isolation.
Given that these people have a decline in cognitive functions such as loss of communication skills and reduced social interaction, and that, throughout the course of the disease, become more isolated and agitated, this robotic therapy will make a significant contribution to the promotion of their well-being and quality of life.
This robot is used for scientifically proven therapeutic purposes in several hospitals all over the world. In 2009 its importance was recognized by the Food and Drug Administration, which certified it as a "therapeutic medical instrument". The professionals who use it are trained in this robotic therapy.
Its creator, the Japanese engineer Takanori Shibata, called it Paro. Once the Robot can learn and react to its name, our patients have decided that it will be called Amália.
If in the past we've seen robots performing tasks for humans in factories, today we have to see them as partners in care. The use of this robotic therapy will be an extraordinary therapeutic complement to our intervention. We understand that we must do everything in our power to make these people feel comfortable, keeping them interested and connected to the world.