Collier and Lee Counties 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

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

The Important Role of Fascia

Like yarn in a sweater, each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia.

Go Beyond Resolutions

For individuals seeking to make 2018 a year of fulfillment, local practitioners suggest easy and fun mini-steps that can boost self-esteem, create self-trust and produce immediate results that encourage more action.

Letter from Publisher

In this month that finds a big heart right in the middle of it celebrating LOVE on February 14, I am reminded of how vital healing and opening my heart has always been in strengthening my own resilience in the face of challenges.

Paradise Wellness & Event Center

Kelly Messmer and her team of health professionals provide their clients ways to lose weight, trim, tone and strengthen their bodies through the use of power plates, aerial yoga and bungee fitness, breath work, dance, yoga, good nutrition, massage therapy and more.

Add your comment: