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The robot effect

Author: admin

Are they effective or more of a gimmick? It’s a question often asked about the potential of robots in silver care. And now, we appear to have something of an answer. A new study at Griffith University in South Queensland, Australia, has attested to the positive effect of social robots on tackling agitation in people with dementia. The team examined how 415 silvers with dementia across 28 care facilities interacted with robotic seal Paro, which has the ability to respond to touch, temperature and voice. They found that the robot had the ability to engage silvers to an extent, getting them to speak more, connect visually and become less agitated. Interestingly, they also found that a soft toy animal could also be used as something of a substitute if resources were limited, although it was less effective. “Our Paro study is the largest and most rigorous of any social robot study that has ever been undertaken anywhere,” lead researcher Professor Wendy Moyle tells magazine Australian Ageing Agenda. “Our study has shown an effect, albeit a modest one, on agitation. This was our primary outcome and the most difficult of symptoms of dementia to reduce.” The research was published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association.

Photo courtesy: Griffith University
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
October 2017