Given the stifling cost of long-term care a high percentage of people who need living assistance remain in their homes. Most of the assistance that is provided comes from family members and friends, but paid home aides are widely utilized as well.
Caring, qualified, and trustworthy people who will come into the homes of senior citizens to provide assistance are not especially easy to come by. The pay that home aides receive is not particularly enticing, and many of these jobs do not offer health care benefits. And of course, assisting someone with their personal needs can be challenging.
In the coming years the situation can only worsen. As the baby boomers continue to get older the numbers of home health aides that are going to be needed will increase dramatically. There simply may not be enough people to care for our elders.
However, perhaps we will not need people to provide these services. There is research being done at The Georgia Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Reading in Great Britain. Robots have already been developed that can perform a number of different functions that are typically handled by human home aides.
Some people question the underlying implications of this type of thing. Shouldn’t human beings care for others while providing real human companionship in the process?
Different people invariably have different perspectives. However, this research is certainly of interest to people in the elder law community, and perhaps robotic assistance is better than no assistance at all.
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Ryan M. DenmanandDennis D. Duffy
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