Therapeutic robotic seals land in Borders

Dementia patients’ wellbeing enhanced & medication reduced by two interactive medical devices

Tuesday 4th June 2019

A pair of advanced interactive therapeutic robotic seals have been helping dementia patients in NHS Borders.

Named Dougal and Flo, the two certified medical devices are fluffy seals that help enhance the wellbeing of patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other complex cognitive disorders.

Christine Proudfoot, Alzheimer Scotland dementia nurse consultant at NHS Borders, said: “The recent arrival of Dougal and Flo within our older adult mental health wards at NHS Borders has made a real difference to our patients diagnosed with dementia.

“These interactive therapeutic robotic seals help to reduce agitation, improve socialisation, enhance mood and encourage interactions between patients and care-givers, which can in turn, result in a decreased need for medication.”

NHS Borders is the first health board in Scotland to use this technology in the care of patients living with dementia.

Feedback from both patients and staff is said to have been very positive so far, with a member of staff reporting: “Our patients have been engaging well with Dougal and Flo - talking, smiling and interacting. The seals are also a very good distracting tool which can be used to help minimise stress.

“They are sparking interaction between patients and creating the opportunity for shared moments, which are wonderful to see.”