Should we Use Robots to Replace Elderly in home care?

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Elderly In Home Care


elder sitterWith the home care services boom and need for elderly in home care services assistance or elder sitters people are really coming up with unique ways to deal with the home care giver crisis issue. This is an interesting article about elder sitters and a creative way to monitor a loved one. Could a home care services robot actually be used to monitor an elderly person? I don’t think that would be an option that I would use. A robot can respond to direction or commands but what about emotions? A live person has emotions and would be able to identify how an elderly person is feeling. You need compassion in order to make an elderly person feel that they are heard as elder sitters. This is something that you can not program a home care services robot to do no matter how great the programmer is. In addition, it is highly doubtful that a robot would be able to anticipate the needs of an elderly person in advance opposed to home care services care givers that are proactive and try to solve issues or problems before they arise.


Elder Sitters and Home Care Services Robots

Check out an interesting article below about home care services robots as Elder sitters

“I smell CO2. Can someone open a window? No we better go out,” says Alice in a metallic British accented adult voice, which contradicts her childlike face. The 22-inch Alice is unlike other home care services bots. She is like a demanding child, but that’s not all that makes her unique.

Alice is the world’s first home care services bot that integrates the artificial intelligence systems of moral reasoning, emotion regulation, and experience of the client to come up with creative solutions. And, Alice’s facial expressions are unparalleled, says Johan Hoorn of VU University in Amsterdam. He is Alice’s chief researcher. He tells me all of this in his home laboratory in Amsterdam – surrounded by wires, computers and speakers.
Needy child and home care services bots
Alice is designed to act needy on purpose, Hoorn says. “You could tell an elderly person to open the window because he or she is suffocating. But if the home care services robot says I am actually suffocating. Can you open the window for me? Then it becomes something that you do for someone else. And in this way people become much more activated, and that will help them feel better.”
For this reason, Alice also looks dependent. She sits in a wheelchair. “I cannot walk”, she explains. “You have to push me around. You can leave the walker at home. A home care services robot in a wheelchair is way cooler,” she says.
Alice cannot speak independently yet. In my conversations with her, Hoorn has been feeding her sentences. Once fully developed, the home care services bot is meant to manage small scripted conversations on confined topics on her own, says Hoorn. “How is your health? Do you like your coffee? It feels as if you are talking in a free conversation,” he says.

‘It was wonderful to see you,’ says Zora to Mrs. Boone

Alice could then for instance go on to ask about the children of the client and how their health is. In the conversations, she could record and save information she can use in a later conversation. But, cautions Hoorn, people will set the conditions according to their wishes. She is not meant to go on the loose.
Robots can elicit strong emotional responses in people. In the Dutch care home Gerardus Majella, the Belgian home care bot Zora has become much loved by the mainly demented elderly, such as Mrs. Boone. Zora, unlike Alice, is not designed to interact independently. She is more a caretaker than a needy child.
In the large recreational room, Mrs. Boone holds the white plastic home care services bot in her arms as if it were a baby. “It was wonderful to see you,” Zora tells Mrs. Boone in a metallic voice. “Thank you,” Mrs. Boone smiles. “I loved having you on my lap, because you are a beautiful person”, Mrs. Boone says caringly as Zora is picked up again by Jose Witte, the head of care.
The responses against using home care services bots at all are as emotional. Jeroen van den Oever visibly cringes when he thinks of plastic home care services bots soothing elderly instead of their loved ones. He heads the company Fundis that oversees different organizations, such as care homes. “The contact is not valuable. We fool ourselves if we think that some thing can replace social interest for home care services robots. It cannot.”……………………


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Source: Should we use robots to care for the elderly?