Long-term care is a big issue within the elder law community. The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age, with 10,000 people applying for Social Security every day. This volume is expected to persist for the next 20 years.
What this means is that more and more people are going to require assistance with their day-to-day needs as they get older. However, there are not an unlimited number of people to provide this assistance. Home health aides are already in relatively short supply. This is largely due to the fact that it is a job that doesn’t pay very much.
Many people would prefer to stay in their own homes rather than uprooting themselves to reside in assisted-living communities or nursing homes. In addition to the personal preference these facilities are extraordinarily expensive, so the costs can compel some individuals to stay at home even if they would be willing to enter an assisted-living facility.
Those who need assistance who want to remain in their homes may have a new form of help on the way in the form of robotic elder care aides.
A recent article that is appearing on the New York Times website highlights the emergence of robots that are being developed to provide help to seniors. They have already been able to design robots that can gently bathe people and retrieve objects.
Whether you would embrace robotic assistance or not this is certainly an interesting development. Perhaps enhanced technology will provide solutions as the population continues to age.