Large numbers of people are entering the stage of life where they need the services of caregivers to meet their physical and emotional needs, and there are just not enough of these skilled professionals. Caregiving is repetitive, exhausting, and complicated. In the United States the pay is usually low – another reason very few are taking on the challenges of this kind of work.
In Japan and elsewhere, the creation and promotion of nursing-care robots is moving full steam ahead. In a fascinating article in The New York Times, Louise Aronson writes about those who believe that robots can solve the workforce shortage of caregivers.
Whereas human caregivers require sleep, robotic caregivers can work around the clock doing chores and handy work. These efficient helpers can be programmed to do a variety of tasks from preparing meals to chatting about the weather or news, to reminding the person to take his/her pills, to scheduling doctor's appointments, and handling a wealth of other duties.