In Finland there is currently quite intense discussion about nursing homes facilities for the elderly. It all started with the emergence of private company neglect towards the elderly. But it turns out that it is not just one private company, the problem is more extensive.
Now when the robots are coming into our everyday life, it comes to mind that it would be somehow desirable for the elderly to be treated by a human rather than a robot.
There is a lot of discussion about how robots will take people’s jobs in the future. In this context we can only hope that the elderly nursing will not go too far into the austerity measures, so that the nursing will not be left to the robots alone. Human touch and presence is needed in many jobs, especially in this field.
The news agency Reuters published an article last November with the title “Aging Japan: Robots may have role in future of elder care.” Nursing home in Tokyo named Shin-tomi has 20 different robots taking care of the elderly people.
“The Japanese government hopes it will be a model for harnessing the country’s robotics expertise to help cope with a swelling elderly population and dwindling workforce. Allowing robots to help care for the elderly – a job typically seen as requiring a human touch – may be a jarring idea in the West. But many Japanese see them positively, largely because they are depicted in popular media as friendly and helpful.”
The near future will show what kind of decisions and solutions are being made in Finland and in the world regarding to this topic. And whether humanity goes above money when it comes to costs.
In Futurebuilders podcast show with Gerd Leonhard we discussed about humans, machines, work and future. Mr. Leonhard is a futurist and a humanist, author of ‘Technology vs. Humanity’ and CEO of The Futures Agency.