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Alberta native creates robot to help people with dementia

‘Hey Mylo’ robot designed to help seniors retain independence
A robot from Ireland spent the day rolling around West Edmonton Mall. It's more than just a cool piece of technology; a St. Albert woman came up with the idea for a special purpose. Sarah Komadina has the story.

Hey Mylo the robot was released in Ireland earlier this year to help people living with dementia.

“He’s a monitoring and comfort robot to allow people with Alzheimer’s to stay in their homes for longer and to be as independent as possible,” Hey Mylo creator Candace Lafleur said.

Mylo can do all sorts of helpful things, such as medication and scheduling reminders. It can even monitor heart rate and call for help if someone falls.

The robot responds through a phone app or by voice and touch.

READ MORE: What we know (and still don’t) about Alzheimer’s in 2019

Lafleur got the idea after a debilitating stroke in her early thirties. She wasn’t able to go home from the hospital because she needed to be supervised constantly.

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“We call him my stroke of genius,” Lafleur said.

“I got a team together and we researched and found that this was hardly a situation that was unique to me. We developed Mylo to help with that: people can stay more independent.”

Lafleur lives in Ireland but is originally from St. Albert, Alta.. She brought Mylo home and used the opportunity to showcase the robot at West Edmonton Mall. In Ireland, Mylo is rented forabout nine Euros, or $13 CAD a day.

READ MORE: Many don’t understand the risk factors for dementia: study

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta’s Arlene Huhn said this could really make a difference.

“There is nothing out there that will solve 100 per cent of the problems, so the fact that we have another tool that might help close the gaps for some families is an exciting time,” Huhn said.

Mylo isn’t available in Canada but Lafleur has high hopes that will change.

“You can ease the strain for some many different people, in such a nice way,” Lafleur said.