Newest Help in Aging-in-Place Efforts: Robots

The latest in aging research indicates that seniors are open to the help of robotic assistance. According to studies conducted at Georgia Tech, the new technology could have major implications for those who are looking to age in place. 

Conducted at Georgia Tech’s Human Factors & Aging Laboratory, the study focused on a group of 21 seniors ages 65-93 from various ethnic backgrounds. Seniors were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their healths as well as technological aptitude with various household appliances. 

With many participants adept at using household appliances such as microwave ovens, cell phones, telephone answering machines, recording and playback devices, seniors already seemed inclined to enlist robotic service as a means for long-term care. 

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71.4% of participants even said they used computers, with most being Internet users for at least five years. 

Seniors added that they would prefer robot assistance for daily household chores and manual labor. Cleaning, ironing, running errands, gardening and lifting heavy objects were a few recurring themes seniors would enlist robotic help for, according to the study. Further down the line—right after manual labor—was medical assistance. 

Overall,  the study noted that seniors were “slightly likely” to accept robots.

Medical uncertainties were the only factors hindering a more positive sentiment among participants, but the findings suggest that older adults are willing to use assistive robots in their daily lives to help them comfortably age in place.

New technological innovations happen everyday with the general aim to make life just a little easier than yesterday. Visions of robots living among humans call to a futuristic age, but that period looks to already be underway. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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