According to the British Independent, smart mechanical aides will soon replace human ones at senior facilities. As a former volunteer at nursing homes, robot care could be an improvement.
When no relatives were visiting, I saw elderly patients treated like farm animals. They were pushed and wheeled around by bored employees. They were dumped into wheelchairs and bed and ignored when they asked for help.
Of course, many people today who survive to their 80s and 90s are placed by families in the homes. And as the inevitable nears, they’re physically and mentally dependent. When I volunteered, about 90 percent of the time the paid staffers just stood around, gabbed and watched TV. Could robots be any worse?
Another troubling factor is the sky-rocketing cost of nursing home care. In the 1980s, it was $500 a month per person. Today it’s $5,000 a month. If it happens, robots could be more kindly than their replaced humans, but fees will continue to rise as greedy nursing home owners ever gleefully charge.