How a robot helps dementia patients at Minnesota nursing home: “We are taking them back in time”


Roseville, Minnesota — Jill Breckenridge has a brand new buddy at her Minnesota nursing house — nevertheless it’s not an individual. It is a particular robotic named Pepper that may speak and even dance with the residents to maintain them lively. 

Amid staffing shortages at nursing properties, the robotic is a part of a pilot program that is serving to seniors each bodily and mentally. Pepper’s particular energy is utilizing new expertise to carry up previous recollections to assist dementia sufferers. 

Breckenridge, 83, was identified with Alzheimer’s illness, however when Pepper exhibits her a video with footage of her previous, the recollections come flooding again. 

“I loved my horse, Lucky Strike. And they would get the cart and we put that horse in and he took us to the different rodeos and I always ran first,” she recalled. 

Arshia Khan, a professor on the College of Minnesota Duluth, is the mind behind the robots. 

Khan stated she was “almost in tears” after seeing Breckenridge work together with Pepper.

“It was like, that is what I wanted. We are taking them back in time, because they have lost that time,” Khan stated. “It’s gone, forgotten. But I’m able to bring that back to them at least for a little while.” 

Breckenridge’s daughter, Sharon Fenn, stated she may inform her mom was having “a wonderful time” with the robotic. 

“I could tell … when I was watching her. She was beaming,” Fenn stated. 


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