The caregiver of the future? It could be a fleet of robots, Aljazeera America reports.
Citing a number of robots on the market or under development, the report delves into the future of caregiving and how technology, namely robotic devices, will help to fill the void between the number of caregivers and the number of those who will need care in the coming decades.
Whether they reside in their longtime homes or in retirement communities, this rising installation of “bots” is working to provide tele-solutions to the older set.
One solution, the MantaroBot, from TelePresence Robots allows telecommunication between distant locations, allowing older individuals to keep in touch with family or friends.
Another, the Home Exploring Robot Butler, or HERB is still under development at Carnegie Mellon University, but promises to deliver a range of services with its ability to move around and on command. In-home sensors are also growing in use to help monitor in home activities from sleep habits, to falls.
The solutions are being developed largely to address a growing problem: a widespread caregiver shortage that will be exacerbated by the number of baby boomers who will require help in their homes from activities of daily living to medical care.
“We don’t have enough caregivers, and people are not choosing that as a profession,” Jim Osborne, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Quality of Life Technology Center, told Aljazeera. “There’s going to have to be other ways to augment [seniors’] abilities – and technology’s going to have to amplify what they do.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker