Robots to assist those with dementia

Robots to aid individuals with dementia in Western Isles

The robots would be used to attach those with their carers

NHS Western Isles is putting robots into the houses of folks with dementia as a part of a pilot scheme to assist them to continue to live independently.

A relative or carer – potentially hundreds of miles away – can drive the machine across the house to envision that everything is alright.

The pair may also have a talk through a two-way video call system.

The Giraff robots are 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall with wheels, and a TV screen rather than a head.

A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a pc from any location. Their face will appear at the screen permitting them to chat to any other person.

The operator could also drive the robot round the house to review that medication is being taken and that food is being eaten.

NHS Western Isles would be piloting the Giraff for the 1st time in Scotland, as component of the ecu Union project Remodem, which aims to enquire methods to support individuals with dementia living in remote communities.

‘High hopes’

Health board bosses said earlier trials in Australia showed that folks with dementia weren’t terrified of the machines. They hope the robots may help people living alone in remote areas to feel less lonely.

Chief executive Gordon Jamieson said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the Giraff here with us to trial and we’ve got high hopes for the way it will possibly improve the standard of life for some dementia patients.

“As a brand new technology for us, the robot can also potentially be utilized in many other areas of healthcare to enhance quality of care, live access to specialists, and accelerate consultations, irrespective of location.”

He added: “Having seen the Giraff in action, i’m extremely impressed with how easily it could be moved around by the ‘controller’ so that they can clearly see the surroundings of the patient, and will have a talk and meaningful interaction, irrespective of distance.”