More than 1.3 million caregivers will be needed just over the next decade and this growing need is already putting a strain on workers. Fortunately, AI and robotics may be the best solutions for problems facing aging Americans and their caregivers. As technology advances, researchers are looking into home care robots to help relieve the caregiver burden and help rather than replace human caregivers.
This week’s #WeeklyChangemaker is Fernando Alonso-Martín who is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University Carlos III of Madrid Robotics Labs and a co-creator of RobAlz, the first robot designed to help patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
RobAlz has various functions that help patients and improve their quality of life. RobAlz provides entertainment by telling stories and offering music and film. It additionally offers stimulation via memory exercises & therapies that delay cognitive decline, and provides personal assistance by reminding patients the location of objects, the activities they need to complete, or even helping them get dressed. RobAlz also helps ensure safety and security by indicating if the user shows any unusual behavior and generating periodic reports to help health care providers as they treat patients.
Research from @floridastateuniversity @fsucom shows that robotic companions might even reduce the risk of dementia by combating loneliness, a problem that potentially increases the risk of dementia by 40%. Home care robots are not yet the standard for care but they could be in the coming future. Helping entrepreneurs design and create innovative robotic companions for elder heath care will improve not only how and where we age, but also the lives of caregivers and their ability to assist the aging.
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