Abstract: The United Nations anticipates that by 2050 the global population aged 65 and above will double in comparison to its 2021 figures. Despite living longer, older individuals often grapple with disabilities and other medical conditions that impede their ability to maintain independence. Due to this demographic shift, there will be an escalating demand for caregiving services in both the immediate and long-term future. But even today, and more so in the future, the supply of caregiving will significantly fall short of the burgeoning demand. More and more, socially assistive robots (SARs) are being used as a potential solution to the shortage of human caregivers.
In this presentation, I will examine the impact of SARs on both paid and unpaid elder care work. Specifically, I will focus on whether SARs contribute to or hinder the transformation of caregiving into meaningful work. I will first focus on the concept of meaningful work within caregiving contexts and show what it entails. Next, I explore how SARs can either facilitate or hinder the realization of meaningful work, considering both formal and informal caregiving roles. In the end, I delineate a set of design and use recommendations for SARs, oriented towards optimizing the potential of these technologies to engender greater meaningfulness within the realm of caregiving. SARs that foster meaningful work possess the capacity to significantly enhance the well-being of both caregivers and care-recipients while simultaneously rendering caregiving a more attractive and fulfilling occupation.
Speaker: Dr Cristina Voinea (Hosted Research Fellow, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics)
A hybrid event for Uehiro Centre Members and Associates (booking not required).
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