Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Future of Elderly Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics have been a part of the medical sector already. Now, its wide applications can be noticed in the field of elderly care.

Image Credit: Hospital & Healthcare Management

The constant integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is noticeable in every other industry, especially the medical sector where the value of assistance is quite high. While many people think that AI integration can be particularly daunting for elderly people; it is bringing a lot of changes in Elderly Healthcare by offering them proper assistance.

The image of struggling senior citizens with technology makes people believe that AI and old people cannot be together as they are most reluctant to modern techs. However, AI can bring more ease and convenience for aging people. Most of them are separated from children or living in elder-care homes or institutions. AI can turn into that support digital persona that takes care of older people 24*7 without any reluctance or getting tired.

While there is an ageist assumption among younger people that older people might not be adaptive to modern technologies, recent research shows that AI adoption is increasing rapidly among older people who are more than 65 years old. Half of the population in this demographic is well aware of ChatGPT as well as AI and its capabilities. There are various applications of AI that can offer access, convenience, and companionship to senior citizens who are in dire need of it. There is the mitigation of social isolation or personalizing medical care; there are various ways an AI can change the world for old people as well as their lives. AI plays a vital role in assisting older people to help in their healthcare concerns.

Population aging is a global issue that is faced by many countries as there are more than 703 million people around the world who are over 65 years old. This number is growing to 1.5 billion by the year 2050. According to this population projection by the United Nations Population Division Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), it is evident that old people are in dire need! It helps to ensure that older people are completely engaged without the subjects of discrimination, ageism, neglect as well as other violations. AI can help to fulfill the growing needs of elderly people with the benefits of technological advancement.

These modern technologies are being used in various avenues including medicine, public health, physiotherapy, and many other health services, especially for older people. It can help to determine health risks and predict their potential before it’s too late. It can offer more personalized medical treatment. After the wide influence of the global pandemic, healthcare facilities faced a lot of problems especially the long-term cases which demanded effective strategies to help the adults.

How AI can help in Elderly Care?

The Elderly Healthcare sector is rapidly improving through various aspects. Let’s take a better look.

  1. Promotes Independence for All

AI-powered technology and modern systems are specially designed to help old people and assist them in their daily activities, starting from medication, navigation, fall detection, and many others which allows them to live independently for a longer time without relying on another person, even the family. With innovative home technologies, smart devices along AI algorithms, it has become quite easy to conduct home tasks while maintaining complete safety. It can also detect deviations in standard behavioral patterns as well as capable of providing timely alerts along with emergency notifications. AI can also help in decision-making with sophistication for the older people at home who want to live independently. It can be also used for home safety and risk prevention with its capability to respond organically in tricky situations. It can send real-time notifications to family and healthcare facilities for human assistance when it determines that it is absolutely needed for the older patient. There are also many wearable devices emerged in the market that are comprised of the power of AI and are capable of monitoring vital signs and other activity details in a patient’s body. Therefore, it can instill a healthier and more independent lifestyle for older people.

  1. Mental Health and Geriatric Population

People often ignore mental health over physical health as most do not even realize that they are already suffering from it. A recent study shows that loneliness is one of the major issues for older people that leads to severe mental health issues such as depression, cognitive impairments as well as frailty. In order to help the lonely elderly people, AI is adopting “Circle of Friends” programs which can offer them the comfort and confidence that is needed to survive. AI can be a more understanding solution that does not add to mental health issues but instills well-being for elderly people who do not even find someone to talk to or interact with.

  1. 24*7 monitoring for Chronic Diseases

One crucial feature of AI that has revolutionized the medical sector is its ability to monitor 24*7 without any disruption. AI algorithms can analyze data that are collected from wearable devices as well as electronic health records and other credible sources. Its real-time analysis can offer early warnings along with personalized treatment plans based on the needs of the patient. However, it does not recommend medication on its own unless mentioned in the recorded reports or consulting the doctors. With virtual consultations, AI can help to provide medical assistance in remote areas as well. AIs are now also capable of reading retinal scans just like doctors. Older people will not be struggling with the medical reports or in understanding them as AI can interpret them in simple terms. Evidently, there is the possibility of AI improving life expectancy for older people.

  1. Robots In Assistance

Robots have been a part of the medical sector for a long time now. Robotic arms have been used for surgery for a long time now. Currently, Robotic systems are being equipped with actuators and sensors; and they can offer physical assistance for old people with mobility support, household chores as well and personal hygiene needs. The robots are specially designed and programmed to adapt to the individual needs of every elderly person. Robotic exoskeletons are also being used in mobility aids as well as mobility impairments which helps to regain independence. Robots are also being used in hospitals to help older people with their physical, emotional, and social well-being.

  1. Social Robots

Social interactions are one of the greatest needs for all kinds of people, especially elderly people who are constantly struggling with social isolation and being unable to interact with people. Social robots are especially good in this case as they can offer engagement, companionship as well as emotional support. It offers cognitive stimulation by engaging in conversation, playing games, assisting in therapy as well as in improving overall quality of life. The acceptance of robots among elderly people is increasing as they are more trustworthy and reliable, sometimes even more than humans. There are also animal robots which are the favorite of older people and they can provide positive outcomes. It can also help in treating older people who are struggling with dementia.

  1. AI In Geriatric rehabilitation

AI technologies are noticeable in wearable devices, exoskeletons, robots, smart homes, VR, AR, voice-activated technology, and many other applications. These applications can be strategically used for rehabilitation, practical assistance, material assistance, and emotional assistance as well as in social and interpersonal interactions. AI can work as a nursing care-support tool that is capable of lessening the labor of nursing staff for long-term care for older people. It can help to offer mental and physical advantages.

Consideration and Challenges

  • Integration of AI in medical sectors and in the assistance of older people is truly mesmerizing. Yet, there are a few ethical considerations that everyone should know. One of the greatest challenges is Privacy concerns, where patients have to share their personal health data with the AI. Therefore it must be only addressed through clear consent procedures along with security measures.
  • Information security needs to be maintained daily as the rise of cloud technology can also lead to the breach of data. That is how the threats of cyber attacks can be reduced significantly.
  • While robots are AI being the perfect companions, it also raises questions about the need for real human connection and interactions. While these modern technologies can help old people it can also lead to heavy dependency on these AI-powered tools.

Concluding Thoughts

There is no doubt that AI and robots are becoming an integral part of every industry with major technological advancements. These promising technologies can be beneficial factors for the medical sector as well, including elderly treatment. However, it also needs to be maintained and kept secure from potential threats.

Edith Slocum

I am Edith Slocum and I have over 16 years experience in the financial services industry giving me a vast understanding of how news affects the financial markets. I am an active day trader spending the majority of my time analyzing earnings reports and watching commodities and derivatives. I have a Masters Degree in Economics from Westminster University with previous roles counting Investment Banking. <strong>Address:</strong> 4510 Sigley Road, Salina, KS 67401, USA <strong>Phone:</strong> (+1) 785-534-9610 <strong>Email:</strong> [email protected]

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