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Robotic Elder Care
Old 01-04-2017, 09:06 AM   #1
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Robotic Elder Care

It's coming - fast. Should significantly reduce costs for LTC.

Will you embrace it?
Will it be ready when YOU need it?

I'm all-in. I tend to trust silicon over people and am not especially socially "needy".
I think there will be (some) useful services for me by the time I need them.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:12 AM   #3
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I'm all in too - we don't (yet) have LTC ins
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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Why do you think it's coming fast? The kinds of things elder care needs (physical assistance such as bathing, transfers into and out of bed wheelchair etc) are not anywhere close to being handled by robots. Maybe there's additional automation possible with laundry, cooking, making beds etc. but even that seems more vague promises than definite progress.

I do fully expect there will be limited remote monitoring and attempts at managing medication schedules, but these are currently very much inferior to an actual aide being present to help. Maybe human assistance will become a luxury, but if so it's one I'm more than willing to pay for.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:12 AM   #5
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Why do you think it's coming fast?
https://consumerist.com/2016/12/28/i...lks-stay-safe/
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:25 AM   #6
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From the article:

MERA isn’t ready to move in with your grandpa anytime soon, however, as Keohane adds that IBM has a lot of research to do before the robot can hit the market: Japan already has robots aimed at caring for the elderly, and might be a likely candidate to adopt the technology early on, she adds.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:40 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=growing_older;1820465]Why do you think it's coming fast?/QUOTE]

Because I am currently working in/with that industry.

I certainly don't mean that you'll wake up one day, and there will be this magic humanoid-like machine that can do absolutely everything for you.

Incremental stages of improvements are coming online today like medication reminders/dispensing, health monitoring (weight, BP, etc.), activity monitoring and fall alerts, etc. - everything will come a little at a time. These all reduce costs of care.

Then, certainly one day in the next 20 years or so there will be meal prep, conversational diagnosis/monitoring, visual/recognition abilities and other more complex tasks available.

Just thinking forward....
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:26 PM   #8
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I'd prefer a reasonably effective robot, to the human "caregivers" I've heard and read so much about. Robots probably will not steal your stuff because "you don't need it as much as I do and don't even know it's there," fail to show up on time due to personal issues, or become impatient with you because you're being old and annoying.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=FIREmenow;1820493]
Quote:
Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
Why do you think it's coming fast?/QUOTE]

Because I am currently working in/with that industry.

I certainly don't mean that you'll wake up one day, and there will be this magic humanoid-like machine that can do absolutely everything for you.

Incremental stages of improvements are coming online today like medication reminders/dispensing, health monitoring (weight, BP, etc.), activity monitoring and fall alerts, etc. - everything will come a little at a time. These all reduce costs of care.

Then, certainly one day in the next 20 years or so there will be meal prep, conversational diagnosis/monitoring, visual/recognition abilities and other more complex tasks available.

Just thinking forward....
Neat.

Get back to w*rk, I'm going to need one.

Seriously it sounds like a great use of technology. I'd agree many tasks could be handled by an assistant. They can excel at much an elder can't(meds seem like a no brainer).

The market would seem broad too. At home and in facilities. Probably much would transfer down to all areas of patient care. I firmly believe that technology has the potential to reduce costs and improve care.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:43 PM   #10
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Too bad there will be no more working people left to pay the taxes to support the robotic care. Seriously -- I'm not against automating what can and should be automated, but we have to factor in the social costs of unemployment and underemployment.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:52 PM   #11
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The reason it will come is the shrinking population of Japan. In addition the rural population in japan is far older than the urban population. So in order to provide elder car (because the Japanese are far more opposed to immgration) it will take robots. and Japan has capabilities there (perhaps even better than the US). So since the need is there the money will flow to the engineers to get things done. Then we in the US will have solutions without having to pay to develop them.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:11 PM   #12
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I expect tech type assistance is on the way, but not in my lifetime.

The thought of it got me to thinking, though, and because we live in a villa in a CCRC, I get a chance to interact with the folk who are in assisted living and long term care. It's a well managed and pleasant environment with an excellent staff in all departments. It led me to wondering how they maintain such loyal and dedicated employees with such a low turnover.

Here's the employment benefit list. Reasonable pay, and a pretty good deal, I think.

Employee Benefits:
Competitive Wages
Health Dental and Vision Insurance
401k Plan (up to 5% company match)
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan
Employee Time (employees can earn up to 5 weeks a year)
Holiday Pay (double time)
Variety of Shifts
Great Work Environment
Beautiful Atmosphere
On the Job Training
Flex Spending Plan
Tuition Assistance

Shhhh... don't tell them they're going to be replaced with robots.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:37 PM   #13
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At times, I think about shows like the Jetsons where they had a robot that mimicked a human in form and function. That robot did things like washing dishes, vacuuming the floor, washing the car. Today we have dishwashers, rumba and car washes. The robot didn't look like the imagined human formed multi-purpose robot shown but the outcome is very similar. How many people actually wash their own cars any more, doing dishes, watering (sprinkler system) . . .

So what the robot will look like and how it will function may not look like we imagine, but I suspect that there will be many "robots" that will perform needed functions for us as we get older. Maybe they'll extend the ability of a person to be able to take care of more people, but I believe they will exist in ways we're not even thinking of yet - and that it will happen sooner than we think it could.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:17 PM   #14
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I will bet the mortgage that there will be functional sex-bots long before there are eldercare-bots. The sex industry in the internet age is what the space program was in the 60s and 70s; the driver of most innovation.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:42 AM   #15
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Yet in order to have time for all that sex, something needs to be done to relieve the burden of caring for the fast-increasing number of elderly.

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I will bet the mortgage that there will be functional sex-bots long before there are eldercare-bots. The sex industry in the internet age is what the space program was in the 60s and 70s; the driver of most innovation.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:16 AM   #16
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At times, I think about shows like the Jetsons where they had a robot that mimicked a human in form and function. That robot did things like washing dishes, vacuuming the floor, washing the car. Today we have dishwashers, rumba and car washes. The robot didn't look like the imagined human formed multi-purpose robot shown but the outcome is very similar. How many people actually wash their own cars any more, doing dishes, watering (sprinkler system) . . .

So what the robot will look like and how it will function may not look like we imagine, but I suspect that there will be many "robots" that will perform needed functions for us as we get older. Maybe they'll extend the ability of a person to be able to take care of more people, but I believe they will exist in ways we're not even thinking of yet - and that it will happen sooner than we think it could.
I bet we could come up with quite a few examples of machine/computers that provide robotic functions today. I can also see meal preparation adapted with the available frozen dinners and microwaves. Just need a conveyor from freezer to microwave on a timer or app. How about voice activated systems for anything electronic including operating plumbing systems.
I think much is or can be done already although with individual systems that could be designed for each individuals needs and added to when future needs arise.

Cheers!
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:58 AM   #17
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It seems like self driving cars might create a new model of live at home but commute to senior center for social/health/meals.... extending in home living.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:19 AM   #18
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I bet we could come up with quite a few examples of machine/computers that provide robotic functions today. I can also see meal preparation adapted with the available frozen dinners and microwaves. Just need a conveyor from freezer to microwave on a timer or app. How about voice activated systems for anything electronic including operating plumbing systems.
I think much is or can be done already although with individual systems that could be designed for each individuals needs and added to when future needs arise.

Cheers!
Just ask the many thousands of people who lost their jobs to robots in back offices. All through the '90s the mantra was if a human adds no value to the transaction why are they doing it. At the same time people were manually keying in address changes to 3270 devices. Not today, it's done with zero assistance by humans. People only deal with exceptions.

These robots don't look like Rosie from the Jetsons, they're PCs.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:20 AM   #19
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If you go to South Africa they've had robots for many years. They're traffic lights. Sounded odd at first, but they are doing what people used to.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:45 AM   #20
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Some aspects of elder care would be suitable for robots, such as dispensing of the proper pharmaceuticals at the proper time of day to a somewhat addle-brained senior. I can envision my robot playing a pleasant but somewhat urgent sounding tune, that won't stop until I go to it, retrieve my pills from it, and take them. OK, I'd go for that if I needed help with my pill taking schedule.

But beyond simple functions like that, I think a human would be better.
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