Do you remember the cartoon called “The Jetsons” about a futuristic family? George and Judy Jetson had a robot named Rosie who helped with all sorts of things around the house. She cooked, cleaned, and even looked after their young son Elroy. At the time the cartoon originally aired in the 1960’s, it all seemed pretty farfetched. But, recently, the AARP website posted an article about robots that are being developed to act as caregivers to elderly and disabled people. It’s an interesting idea, but is it the wave of the future?
Technology companies are starting to develop robots that can aid with the social needs of seniors. These robots are called “socially assistive” robots and are being designed to help seniors to remain active and socially engaged. They’re even being designed to ask questions that a nurse might normally ask. Some other goals designers have for the robots are:
* Medication reminders.
* Offering puzzles that stimulate the mind.
* Eating assistance.
* Mobility assistance.
Although complex robots that can do those sorts of tasks are still being developed, there are robotic technologies currently available, too. For example, there are already robotic furry pets available that are being used to soothe people with dementia. The “animals” respond to interaction from humans by moving or making sounds. Researchers say they improve mood and help relieve anxiety.
Why a Human Caregiver is Better
Having a robot whizzing about the house sounds pretty neat, but could it really take the place of a human caregiver? A robot could be helpful, but there are certainly things that human caregivers can provide that a robot cannot, such as:
Emotional Support: Robots do not have feelings, so they aren’t capable of truly caring about your aging relative. They cannot relate to the way the senior is feeling and offer support and empathy.
Outings: A robot cannot drive a car and take a senior out to run errands or enjoy lunch at a restaurant. They can’t make sure the older adult stays safe and enjoys companionship and a good conversation.
Conversation: Robots may be programmed to “talk,” but they don’t have stories of their own to share during a conversation. That could make speaking to them largely one-sided, which isn’t necessarily a good source of social interaction.
There are lots of technologies currently available to aid caregivers in completing tasks, like apps for medication reminders and organizing medical information. However, at present, nothing can beat the warm and friendly presence of a caregiver who brightens the day of an older adult.
For Caregiver Services in Arlington TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!