Next Avenue: Can a robot roommate help you care for your aging parent?

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from One of the most emotionally laden and difficult conversations a family can have involves what to do when an older relative can no longer live independently — at least not fully. Most of us want to keep our independence for as long as possible, while loved ones may be concerned about our ability to manage it safely.

These days, though, technology can make living alone safer. It serves as a bridge, a way out of the house, connecting to experts at the other side who are there to help. It also provides older adults with cyberpets and “cyber sidekicks” that battle loneliness without needing to be bathed or fed. The New York State Department of Aging was impressed enough by these devices that it announced it would start distributing them to older adults who are most in need. In addition to combating loneliness, these gadgets can save lives. “For several days, I was getting weaker and weaker,” says Bonita Hoyle, an 86-year-old grandmother in New Mexico. “One night, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and thought, ‘That’s enough of this.’ I said, ‘Alexa, call for help.’” Saying these words prompted the system to connect her to the company’s emergency dispatch team, which led to an extended hospital stay. She is now back at home, feeling better. She believes the technology — it’s called a Companion — saved her life. Related: Seniors …

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