in Years to Come
by David Brown, guest blogger
By the time that many baby boomers reach the age range of 80-85, about twenty years from now, they may have a smaller or larger portion of elder care being done by robots. This would be either an assisted living nurse droid who stops in and is close by, or for in-home care, a live-in droid, customized to their needs. The droid – let’s call them by a name : Sarah, would do chores, prescription reminders, TV channel surfing, make phone calls, and retrieve information. Some of this is already happening today with our smart devices.
What is driving this industry now is both the immediate and projected future needs of aging populations in the world. Japan is an example of using government research to help develop this industry with the monumental shifts happening in the demographics of aging populations. In 2013 and 2014, they invested millions in this industry, and more is anticipated as the needs continues to grow.
(see full story - www.good.is/articles/robots-elder-care-pepper-exoskeletons-japan)
With the increasing costs of care and demand for assisted living facilities, commercial caregivers will be one step ahead if they began to explore how AI - artificial intelligence - could be integrated into their daily care-giving services now. There could be droids trained in bridge and other card games, masters of chess, gardening experts, gourmet cooking, and social conversation, or all of these and more - and having the elder resident's preferences and interests already programmed into its circuits. It may also have built in monitoring systems to see how well received the communications were with the elder residents and adapting to the residents preferences and favorite topics as the need arises.
Imagine if the droid also had an amazing sense of humor built in. The residents favorite music. Stories and entire audio books that would enchant, entertain, and bring smiles on residents that can appreciate the advances in technology.
We are living in the future of yesterday, and preparing for the reality of tomorrow. What surprises it will bring in the area of elder care could be pleasant, even humorous, and since laughter is good for the health, maybe that would be a good thing.