Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte Edition

Robot Roomies

New Tech May Relieve Elder Isolation

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Approximately a third of those older than 65 and half of elders at least 85 live alone, as do many people with illnesses and mental disorders. All can suffer from feelings of profound loneliness. Emerging virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies provide avenues to alleviate such isolation, instilling contentment, peace of mind, enrichment, fun, a sense of companionship and contributing to physical and mental health.

Instead of passively watching TV, seniors can travel virtually to World Heritage sites, revisit old haunts or even attend family events they would otherwise miss. In terms of benefits attained, VR is predicted to measurably improve seniors’ quality of life.

Healthcare applications of AI and telemedicine include reminders to eat, be active or take medications, perhaps assisted by a robotic companion that can share information with practitioners, children, caregivers and emergency personnel. Social applications include helping to form and maintain social connections. It may also serve as a personal concierge by reminding seniors of appointments, playing games with them and initiating dialogue to spark outward engagement.


This article appears in the December 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Erling Kagge on Our Deep Need For Silence

The explorer and author speaks on how silence is golden and can be achieved anytime, anywhere by going within.

Imperfectly Perfect Pets

Like humans, pets can face physical and mental challenges, but fresh approaches are giving our beloved animals fuller, happier days.

A Kinder Heart

To transcend society’s hectic pace and intrusive demands, we can relax deeply into our heart center and experience the all-embracing love that is always there.

Take Magnesium to Metabolize Vitamin D

Without adequate amounts of magnesium in the body, vitamin D supplements can’t be metabolized; high amounts may even increase the risk of vascular calcification.

Turmeric Helps Heal Skin Ailments

A recent meta-study concluded that turmeric has proved effective in treating acne, mouth inflammation, itchy skin and psoriasis, among other conditions.

Add your comment: