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The challenge of robots as caregivers for older persons

, 11 December 2018 -- According to the United Nations, in 2030 there will be 1.4 billion people over 60 years of age in the world, 56% more than at present.

The new industrial revolution is coinciding with an aging population, making it essential to act against the care of the elderly.

The Japanese government, a country of robotics par excellence, has been forced by its circumstances, has the oldest population on the planet and has a policy of rejecting immigration, to promote measures that increase the acceptance of robots in care of older people, so that by 2020, four out of five old people have robots to help them in their day to day.

The Center for Specialized Research in Robotics Adapted for the Elderly is working with 98 Japanese manufacturers to increase the autonomy and quality of life of the elderly. Smart devices are being implanted to help them in their daily life, like a walker that adapts to the terrain and its inclination for the elderly to walk better.

This futuristic scenario has also begun to be considered in Spain since, together with Japan, it heads the list of longest-lived inhabitants. Our country today has 20% of inhabitants over 65 years of age, of which 15% have some type of dependency. That is why the European Commission has begun to work on this alternative care for the elderly and has funded different projects of robotics for the care of the elderly in the framework of the Horizon 2020 program with 185 million euros.

The global market of robots dedicated to care and assistance is made up, in its entirety, by Japanese manufacturers and, today, is a sector to exploit, has only had a turnover of 19.2 million dollars in 2016 according to figures from the International Robotics Federation. However, it is expected to rise to 3,800 million in Japan alone in the year 2035, when one third of the Japanese population is over 65 years old.

The high price of robotics has slowed its expansion, however the Japanese government aims to stimulate this industry and is investing 50 million dollars incorporating robots from the Ministry of Labor, in 5,000 facilities across the country, although not all are dedicated to health care.

Another obstacle to the definitive implantation of robots as caretakers of the elderly is the difficulty of the elderly to get used to being cared for by machines instead of by human beings; although this is not the goal since automata are used more to relieve workloads of personnel specialized in the care of the elderly and dependents.

The reflection forces us to question whether we really want our elders to interact with machines instead of people and if this will not aggravate their isolation instead of solving it.

What seems to be already given is, more than a substitution of the man for the machine in the care of the elderly, a healthy coexistence in which the automatons are a care tool at the service of elderly care professionals. For more visit https://casalista.com/empleada-de-hogar-interna/cuidadores-de-personas-mayores/

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Submitted by Kyle Crum on Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 9:14 PM
Category: Business
 
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