Robots that Care
Robots that Care was a very interesting article to me. A lot of the information in it was very relevant to me because I want to be an occupational therapist for my future occupation.
I shadow at a rehabilitation hospital on campus and find that when the patients go home a robot may help benefit patients when they leave the hospital. Lots of people are itching to get home and a robot may be able to help them be more independent in their homes. I found it interesting that the robots could be used until the person is more independent and be passed onto the next person who needs it. Lots of times insurance is a sticky issue with people. If there were robots to assist people with their therapy or make them more independent at home until it is not needed that would be great. So many times people have to pick and choose the types of things they need to help assist them at home and often times they are unable to afford all the tools necessary to be independent. A robot would not only be trained to encourage and work with people who need their help they could be trained to help people get around their houses and carry out daily tasks.
Another thing that stood out to me in the article was the use of the robot at a companion. Some people don’t have family close by or have lost a spouse or just live alone. Pets are lots of work and some people aren’t able to keep up the visits to the vet or just give the type of care pets need. According to the article, “Robotic pets, which do not require the caretaking of a real pet, have also been shown to increase socializing and reduce stress.” A robot pet would be great for lonely people to have sometime to love and take care of without the aspect of maintenance of a real live animal.
When reading about the robots that worked with older people who had Alzheimer’s I could not help but think my Grandfather who has had Alzheimer’s for the past 7 years would get a kick out of a robot that sang or just gave them company. My grandfather loves to read and discuss his reading. I was thinking about how he could have had a robot that listened to him read, recited poetry, and showed him pictures of horses (some of his favorite things). My dad and his siblings provide most of the care my grandpa needs but many times they are busy with their own children and lives. I am sure this applies to many other people that are the caregivers to their parents. If there was a robot around for my grandpa when we all were busy he could have someone giving him attention and helping him focus more maybe slowing down his disease and give him some more months or years of clarity.
Overall I enjoy seeing technology being put to a meaningful use. We are using technology to help make others lives better and possibly making the quality of lives improve a lot. I am looking forward to the future of what robots can provide to us.