Beyond Japan Ep. #36: Robotics in Elder Care with Dr Naonori Kodate

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This week we are joined by Dr Naonori Kodate, Associate Professor in Social Policy and Director of Research at University College Dublin, who will introduce us to the growing phenomenon of robotics in elder care. In super-aged Japan, robots are becoming more and more common in assisting care staff in a wide range of activities, from heavy-lifting to night-nursing, as the human workforce decreases due to depopulation and strict migration policies. Nao’s research indicates robots can be more than tools, providing social contact for a demographic commonly afflicted by loneliness. What’s more, as other nations begin to see ageing populations, robots in the care home may soon become the norm.

For a better understanding of Japan’s ageing demographic, listen back to our episode on ‘Super-Aged Japan’.

Sources

Ide, H., Kodate, N., Suwa, S., Tsujimura, M., Shimamura, A., Ishimaru, M., & Yu, W. (2021). The Ageing ‘Care Crisis’ in Japan: Is there a role for robotics-based solutions? International Journal of Care and Caring, 5: 165-171. 

Obayashi, K., Kodate, N., & Masuyama, S. (2020) Can connected technologies improve sleep quality and safety of older adults and care-givers? An evaluation study of sleep monitors and communicative robots at a residential care home in Japan. Technology in Society, 62.

小舘尚文,生活支援技術の受容をめぐる社会・文化・政策的課題―介護ロボットの社会実装を事例に―, In: 「高齢者を支える技術と社会的課題 科学技術に関する調査プロジェクト報告書」、国立国会図書館 調査及び立法考査局; 2021年3月;pp65-80. National Diet Library, Japan.


Image credits

[L] Universal Accessibility Ageing Research Centre, Japan

[R] Circuits of Care film poster

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