Social Robotics to Address Isolation and Depression Among the Aging During and After COVID-19

Jordan Miller, Troy McDaniel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

COVID-19 is exacerbating isolation issues faced by older adults, which may lead to increased risk for depression and other mental health issues. Social robots are being explored for their potential to alleviate these challenges through conversational therapy, companionship, and connectedness regardless of where older adults chose to age in place—from home to long-term care facilities. This is a discussion piece with the objective of raising awareness to the topic of social isolation within older adults and current limitations in the field of social robotics. We discuss the state of the art in social robotics for aging in place and bring attention to remaining challenges for addressing isolation and mental health especially during and after COVID-19. This paper provides a discussion on critical differences between environments where older individuals age, and how designs should account for these variations. Lastly, this paper highlights the physical and mental health issues of caregivers and provides a discussion of challenges that remain toward using social robotics to assist those who take care of the aging population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHCI International 2021 - Posters - 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021, Proceedings
EditorsConstantine Stephanidis, Margherita Antona, Stavroula Ntoa
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages164-171
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030786410
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 24 2021Jul 29 2021

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1420
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/24/217/29/21

Keywords

  • Aging in place
  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Independent living
  • Isolation
  • Long-term care
  • Pandemics
  • Social robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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