The Wall Street Journal article called The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone, published in late 2018, provides excellent insight into a serious mental and physical health crisis developing for baby boomers: loneliness and isolation.
The solution to solving the loneliness crisis among older Americans could be a robot animal, according to the New York Post.
Carrolyn Minggia, 64, felt isolated after her aunt passed away last November. The Brooklyn Heights resident never married and has no children quickly found herself alone.
In April, Minggia received a robot dog that looks exactly like a golden retriever puppy. The cuddly robot requires four C batteries and doesn't make a mess.
"I know it's mechanical, but when you walk past it, it says something to you, and when you live alone, it matters," says Minggia, a retired development coordinator.
Minggia's new robo-pup is part of a unique statewide pilot program by the New York Department for the Aging (DFTA) that delivered 60 of these robots to baby boomers suffering from loneliness.
Named Golden Pup, the robot retails on Amazon for $119, provides realistic features of a puppy without the mess. It has built-in sensors that respond to touch and motion. The dogs respond to sounds and even have a pulse.
"They bark, they nuzzle," says Cortés-Vázquez. They're "a wonderful way to replace that same gratification and tenderness and joy that you once had with your pets."
Minggia wants to get a real dog soon, but, given that she is seriously ill, her robo-pup is a great substitute.
"You know there's mechanics in the center of him, so he's not squishy," she says. But "I don't have to clean up after him, I don't have to walk him. He brings me joy."
Baby boomers have three choices of robot companion animals: Golden Pup Companion, Cat Companion, and Kitten Companion.
As the population ages, technology firms have recognized the US has a demographic problem. Millennials have no money, so what's the point in making products for them. It's the baby boomers who have the wealth, and that is why companies have started releasing products tailored with them in mind.