Robots Visit Homes For Elderly People Who Have Difficulty Going Out and Practice Brain Training

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  •   Kazue Sawami

  •   Mitsuo Kimura

  •   Tetsuro Kitamura

  •   Masahiko Kawaguchi

  •   Mihoko Furusumi

  •   Chizuko Suishu

  •   Naoko Morisaki

  •   Sonomi Hattori

Abstract

Introduction: When it becomes difficult for the elderly to go out due to a decrease in walking ability, the decline in their mental and physical function accelerates. Currently, elderly people who have difficulty going out have no effective measures in place. Therefore, we wanted to prevent their functional decline by visiting homes and intervening. For the intervention, a robot developed for brain training for the elderly people was used. The goal was not only brain training, but also to obtain psychological activation through interaction with robots and supporters.


Method: The subjects were elderly people who had difficulty going out. Researchers, supporters, and robot visited their homes to conduct brain training by robots and recollection methods were performed with supporters. Cognitive tests (immediate and delayed reproduction of 10 words) and psychological surveys (interviews) were conducted before and after the intervention.


Result: There were 29 subjects, 8 males, and 21 females, with an average age of 79.5 ± 4.95. The maximum score for the cognitive test is 10. Immediate playback was improved from 5.5 points to 8.1 points (p <0.01), and delayed playback was improved from 4.7 points to 7.5 points (p <0.01). In the analysis of psychological verbatim record, as a result of the pre-interview, “Once I stop going out, it becomes troublesome to get dressed up and go out”, “There are days when I don't talk about anything all day”, “If someone doesn't come or make a phone call, there are no chance of a conversation”. In the interview after the start, there were most categories as “I came to think that vitality is important”, “I became more motivated”, and “I'm looking forward to talking”. As for robots, there were many reactions such as cuteness, healing, and fun compared to interpersonal communication.


Conclusion: Brain training during the visits showed that there is a significant improvement in cognitive score, and that it is effective as a countermeasure for the elderly who cannot go out. In addition, the robot has a high affinity for all subjects, the effect of softening the tension associated with receiving the visit was confirmed. Conversation with a robot that resolves the shortage of human resources is meaningful because in the situation where no one talks to anyone throughout the day the utilization of robot shows the improvement in energy and motivation due to increased conversation. By supplementing the interaction with regular supporters to this, it can be a more effective measure.


Keywords: robots, home-visit, brain-training.

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How to Cite
Sawami, K., Kimura, M., Kitamura, T., Kawaguchi, M., Furusumi, M., Suishu, C., Morisaki, N., & Hattori, S. (2020). Robots Visit Homes For Elderly People Who Have Difficulty Going Out and Practice Brain Training. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.24018/ejmed.2020.2.1.156