Could robots really be the future of senior care? The Japanese certainly think so. Burdened with the problems of the ever-growing senior population and a shortage of healthcare workers, the Japanese government is putting money towards designing and building robots to help care for the elderly.
According to Japan Daily Press, three types of robots are being tested at this time. Seniors who have difficulty with movement would use one type of robot to help them get up and down and help them get from place to place. This would alleviate some of the lifting that the caretakers would usually have to do. Another would be a self-cleaning toilet. Placed strategically, this “
robo-toilet” could help seniors to more easily use the restroom. Last is a monitoring robot meant for seniors with dementia, preventing them from wandering and getting lost.
But don’t expect to be seeing these robots for sale quite yet. Although some prototypes have been made, the robots are still mostly in the research phase. And they would also be much too expensive at the moment, with the lifting-type robot costing over $200,000. With the Japanese government funding nearly half of the research, they hope to have these robots functioning and available at a low-cost by 2035.
As interesting as this concept is, Freedom Home Care strongly believes no robot could ever replace the warmth and compassion that our human caregivers can offer.