Will Robots Be Among the Connected Devices in Your Smart Home?
The senior living space has undergone a digital transformation over the past twenty years. At this point, most of your care staff has likely replaced their clipboards for tablets and you’re probably well aware of the many senior living technology solutions available to streamline operations in your community.
Today, futuristic movie scenes where robots run hospitals are not far from reality. While integrating technology for older adults may sound daunting, today’s robots can assist with a range of tasks, from dispensing medication to providing companionship. (Yes, we’re talking about robotic pets for older adults.)
Here are three ways you can integrate robots to support the older adults and staff in your community.
1. General-Purpose Robots Assist with Staff Responsibilities
To support your care staff in their busy day-to-day operations, you can deploy robots to alleviate their workload.
General-purpose robots can remotely monitor a room, which can help identify more subtle issues like frequent trips to the restroom, insomnia, or unusual behaviors. For residents who struggle with memory loss, smart speakers like Amazon Alexa can remind them of activities, medication times, or call care staff for help.
While some technology for older adults can be difficult to understand, general-purpose robots are easy to use. Besides completing routine tasks, robots can make conversation, play games, and even lead fitness classes for residents.
Senior living communities are already seeing the benefits of general-purpose robots. In one community, an autonomous robot emceed karaoke night and other activities. Residents were able to tell the robot what songs they wanted to sing and when to adjust the volume.
While you still may be skeptical of how robots could be integrated into your community or the cost to maintain one, popular brands, like Amazon, have already built robots of their own.
Astro, Amazon’s home assistance robot, can move from room to room, monitor movement, deliver calls, set up reminders, and receive activity alerts. Amazon also plans to launch Alexa Together later this year, which will allow care staff to directly check in on residents through the robot.
2. Health Assistance Robots Help Provide Resident Care
While robots can complete basic tasks, like checking residents in for an activity night, health assistance robots can help take care of residents’ health care plans, like keeping track of medication administration.
Residents can rely on robots for medication reminders or to alert care staff for physical assistance. Health aid robots can also monitor symptoms or behaviors that may be of concern to care staff.
While integrating robotic technology into your operations may sound challenging, health assistance robots have seen positive results. The implementation of medical dispensing robots greatly reduced the risk of dispensing errors and optimized stock management in one study.
As robots continue to grow in popularity in the medical field, older adults will become accustomed to robots in their communities and as a part of their healthcare routines.
Doctors, nurses, and staff rely on robots to set up patient rooms, take medication inventory, and place prescription orders. Robots are also starting to perform non-invasive procedures in hospital settings.
3. Robotic Pets for Older Adults Provide Emotional Companionship
Supporting older adults’ emotional and mental health is integral to maintaining good physical health.
While in-person relationships are the best way to combat loneliness, robotic pets for older adults provide companionship without taking on the responsibility of a real pet.
Robotic pets have been proven to be affordable companions for older adults in senior living communities. In one study, 70 percent of pet adoptees found a significant decrease in feelings of isolation after one year of owning their companion.
Especially as we head into the winter months, residents may be spending more time indoors, so investing in robotic pets for older adults may be a preventative solution to the winter blues.
Support Your Senior Living Community with Intelligent Automations
Integrating robotic assistance for older adults is one way to optimize your care staff’s time, as they navigate the rest of the pandemic.
With the help of robots, your staff will have more time to create meaningful relationships with residents. Empower your care staff to work more efficiently with the support of robots.
Caremerge offers a number of technology solutions to provide quality care to your residents and to support your care staff. If you’re looking to integrate technology for older adults in your community, sign up for a demo.