A constant caring power

Caring for one’s children is an amazing, rewarding, lifelong dedication—as this issue of the Sentinel suggests. But what about when the tables turn and there’s a need for children to care for their parents? This can be a daunting task, especially with so many families living farther apart and relying on technology to stay connected. And sometimes there aren’t any family members to do the caring. 

With 78 million baby boomers hitting retirement age this year in the United States, creative solutions to caregiving are surfacing. Take, for instance, the “telecaregiver.” With the aid of technology, a telecaregiver can remotely observe the home’s occupants 24/7 if needed. For one octogenarian couple, their telecaregiver has become like a daughter—joining them for meals and sharing daily conversation even though she lives nearly a thousand miles away and has never met the couple in person (see The Christian Science Monitor, “Rise of the ‘Telecaregiver,’ ” April 18, 2011). The world also has its eye on Japan’s innovative robots to augment a caregiving industry that has a massive manpower shortage. Despite the hope these “humanoids” initially promise, they so far haven’t been met with the same enthusiasm by users, who say they prefer humans (“Robots may not be the solution for Japan’s elderly care,” February 7, 2011, http://www.transhumanistic.com/2011/02/robots-not-solution-for-japan-elderly-care/).

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May 23, 2011
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