Caring for the elderly with new technology

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Robots are now interacting with residents across Minnesota nursing homes/senior living facilities, and in the future, it could be your loved one. With the help of UMD’s Robotics program and Monarch Healthcare are being a whole new meaning and looking to nursing homes/senior living facilities.

People say that it can sometimes feel like you are all alone when you are not surrounded by your lovely ones often. “Especially when you have a down day and the nurses do not get time with you here at the nursing home. The robots come up and say…"Let’s exercise!" It is really uplifting," senior living resident Stacy expresses.

The rollout of new technology can come with some hesitation, but according to a UMD Computer Science Professor, Arshia Khan, it was more exciting and less fearful.

"They are super excited. I honestly didn’t believe this kind of reaction. I was a little bit afraid, but it’s amazing, said, Khan. That goes to show that they are very lonely and looking for companionship, and that’s what we want to provide."

It is said that the robots can help the residents with exercising, tell jokes, reliving memories, and such much more.

One goal that professor Khan talked about is how these robots will be able to assist not only with interacting with the resident but also be extra help for nurses and staff members in times when facilities may be short-staffed.

"There is so much that the robots can do, to help human beings…to help the caregivers. Like repetitive tasks, robots can take over so the nursing staff can just do the important things of caring for people."

There are sixteen robots in total. Two robots in eight nursing/senior facilities throughout Minnesota.