Get Ready George Jetson

I recently attended the national Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA) conference in Alexandria, Virginia. The speakers were terrific, but two got my undivided attention. You see, I’m a social worker who cringes when she sees parents waiting at the bus stop with their faces stuck in their cell phones, rather than chatting with their kids. I recall not being too excited about being asked to use a laptop rather than notepad and pen during home assessments years ago. I’ve often said that I was born in the wrong century and would have been much happier had I been born 100 years earlier. Yet, as a child I remember loving The Jetsons. I was fascinated by George Jetson’s ability to fly through the sky, arriving at his destination within minutes and was especially intrigued by Rosie, the robotic maid. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was all make-believe and would never happen…or so I thought!


I learned last week that we will soon be able to wear “balance soles”, which will help a 73 y/o body walk with the balance and accuracy of a 23 y/o. Folks in Denmark and Japan are actively working on “exoskeletons” that those with debilitating conditions like Osteoporosis will be able to wear to maintain their posture and ability to walk. Did you know that “GPS smart soles” are now available? Slip them in the shoes of a loved one prone to wandering. In the next five years, “smart clothing” will not only monitor our vital signs but be able to administer CPR! For a cool $100,000-$150,000, nursing homes can purchase a “service bot”—a robot with an animated bear face that lifts a patient needing to be transferred, in order to prevent employee injuries and better manage staffing challenges. Drum roll please…within the next 10 years, “assistant robots” will be on the market—able to help humans with activities of daily living—dressing, grooming, meal preparation, you name it.


Are your eyes rolling? Well, I’ve had a major shift in my thinking about technology. Sure, I’d prefer a future world where every human in need has a human to help them, but I’ve come to appreciate the technologies that will allow us to safely navigate care for our growing senior population. Historically, the ratio of available family caregivers to seniors in need was 7:1. By the year 2030 it will be 4:1 and by 2050, it will be 3:1. Yep, we’re going to need all the Rosie’s we can get!


This blog was guest written by our own Meg Motter, our Client Care Advocate. If you have questions for our team, please give us a call at (717) 845-5390.