Robots caring for the elderly? It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, doesn’t it?
As absurd as it might sound, some researchers are currently working on technology that is designed to assist in senior care in this capacity. These “robots” are more like tools than they are Rosie from The Jetsons, though.
These new robots are called soft robots because they do not have the hard outer structure that we associate with metallic robots. Their soft outer structure allows them to safely touch people without a risk of injury. Robots are already out there that are programmed to ask questions, and these soft robots have a lot of potential when it comes to things that require touch, like monitoring heartbeat, temperature, and gauging other vital signs.
Even though this technology is currently possible, it’s extremely expensive. Also, researchers noted that this is not a replacement for a person providing care, just a way to bridge the gap when someone is not providing direct care. One researcher asked, “would you leave babies or physically or cognitively impaired old people in the hands of a robot?” Clearly, the answer is no. Even drastically improved leaps in the field of care and robotics cannot change this answer. That doesn’t mean that help can’t be given in this manner, though. Improved care is a shared goal, and this seems like it has the potential to help many people.
Many parts of the world, including the U.S., are undergoing a potential senior care crisis. The senior population is expected to double around the globe by the year 2050, and it is a demographic that is growing faster than any younger population. There is a very real concern that there will not be enough people to help assist the older population with care if this growth continues without change to the current care infrastructure.
For now, modern technology is all that we have to help with senior care. But even that is saying something. There are amazing advances that help us to keep our elderly loved ones safer and healthier than ever before. Even these advances cannot replace human contact, though. A robot or a computer screen can’t provide the same love and companionship that another human can.
That’s where in-home care steps in. In-home care provides personalized, one on one care that is designed to give your older family member the care and attention that they need to get through each day in a safe way. But care is about more than just meeting basic needs like food preparation, medication management, and transfers within the home. Care is also about companionship, friendship, and caring. Even though technology has done a lot of good and will continue to do so, it cannot replace a person.
If you have questions about senior care and how it might help you and your family, please feel free to get in touch with us. Give us a call and schedule a free consultation and we can help you get pointed to the perfect type of care for your loved one.