Hands-on review of the GeriJoy virtual pet and care companion
We tried the GeriJoy Companion so we could share our real-life experience and opinions with you. If you’re considering a monitoring or companion service for your older adult, this 5 part hands-on review lets you know what to expect.
Get a product overview and review summary in The GeriJoy Companion (Part 1). Find out how we ordered and got set up in Getting Started (Part 2). See how families use it in the Family Experience (Part 4). Find out who we’d recommend this to and learn about future improvements in Our Final Verdict (Part 5).
May meets “Blue”
To help with our testing, we recruited a 100 year old volunteer named May. After we got everything set up, May was curious about and interested in playing with her new virtual pet. We woke the puppy up, said hello, and introduced ourselves. After a little conversation, the puppy asked May to name it. She decided to call it Blue.
The first thing we saw – hearts floating out of the happy puppy! May names it Blue.
NOTE: Expanded Desktop mode wasn’t turned on, so that’s why you see the “back” and “home” buttons at the bottom of the screen in these photos.
May and Blue have a nice conversation
May and Blue chatted for a while. Blue was very positive, always steering May to happy subjects and nice memories, based on the information in our Family Portal. Everything that Blue said showed up in easy-to-read captions at the top of the screen.
May and Blue are chatting
May tries to pet Blue
May has long fingernails, so she had a little trouble scratching and petting Blue because fingernails aren’t recognized by tablet devices. But we were able to scratch and pet using our fingertips. Some people with long fingernails like to use their knuckles instead.
It’s fun and cute to watch Blue respond to the touching. If your older adult doesn’t have long nails or is already good at using tablet devices to view photos, they’ll enjoy petting their virtual pet.
May tries to pet Blue’s nose
Blue shows great photos!
Blue asked May about her favorite foods and showed a lot of nice photos. We uploaded some of our own family photos, but the Helper also showed some nice pictures of flowers and Chinese food. We hadn’t thought of including photos like that, but they turned out to be May’s favorites! She got very excited and talked about all her favorite dishes.
Blue shows May photos of pretty flowers
Games, weather, singing and poetry
We asked to play a game and Blue showed us a memory game. The level we played was a bit challenging for May. We found out later that the memory game can be adjusted to make it more or less difficult. Plus, there’s also a more simple game where a photo is shown and the older adult names what’s in the photo – usually an animal, city, or common object. That would have been fun for May! Families can record these preferences in the Family Portal to let the Helpers know what games would be the most fun.
We also asked what the weather would be like tomorrow and got a response that sounded like it came straight from a web page. It wasn’t as conversational or easy to understand as we would have liked.
Blue also did some singing and poetry reading. Because the voice is robotic-sounding, we didn’t think this worked very well. But everyone is different, so give it a try and see what your older adult thinks. Their ears may even find this voice easier to understand.
See more older adults using the GeriJoy Companion
For more examples of how older adults interact with the GeriJoy Companion, click here to learn about Bob’s experience.
Next Step See how families use it in Part 4
Start from the beginning of this 5 part review with The GeriJoy Companion (Part 1). Find out how we ordered and got set up in Getting Started (Part 2). See how families use it in the Family Experience (Part 4). Find out who we’d recommend this to and learn about future improvements in Our Final Verdict (Part 5).
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Disclaimer: The product was loaned to us for the duration of this review. DailyCaring was not compensated and all opinions are based on our honest experiences. This is how we make money.