Robotic pets have been handed over to 20 care homes at an event at County Hall, Preston.
The 10 robo-cats and 10 robo-dogs have been bought following an appeal by Lancashire County Council and Lancashire 50+ Assembly, which raised more than £1,800.
Robotic pets behave like normal cats and dogs, the dogs bark and wag their tail, the cats meow and perform actions like washing their face, but you don’t need to walk them or change their litter tray.
Research has shown that robo-pets can help tackle loneliness and isolation and are the perfect companions for people with dementia.
County Councillor Joan Burrows, champion for older people, said: “Keeping pets is really important for many people and they miss having a dog or cat around when they move to a care home.
“These robo-pets are fantastic because they look and act like the real thing. The dogs bark when they hear you, the cats purr when you stroke them.
“They are relaxing and calming and encourage care home residents to socialise as they share memories.”
Living with loneliness carries the equivalent risk of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and national figures provided by Age Concern show that 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family for a month.
Around 60% of people in care homes get no visitors at all.
County Councillor Burrows added: “Using these robotic pets can encourage people to remember events, bring back fond memories and spend time with others. This helps to ensure people feel less lonely and improve the quality of life of people who live with dementia.
“Thank you to everyone who has made a donation and to the Lancashire 50+ Assembly for their fundraising appeal.”
The county council is still looking to raise money so that more care homes across Lancashire can have a robo-pet.
For information about making a donation or arranging a fundraising activity, email: 50+Assembly@lancashire.gov.uk.