The challenge of aging societies and the decreasing number of nurses has led to the trend that older persons are encouraged to stay in their own residences as long as possible with an increasing need for support from informal carers. Providing informal care is satisfying in the sense that it provides meaning to life and companionship. However, informal carers experience high levels of stress, mental and physical fatigue, problems at work, social withdrawal, and sleeplessness. In addition, homecare nurses are experiencing an increased workload and unbearable levels of stress due to an imbalance between the ratio nurses and clients. Sustainability of care could be secured by complementing the human care with support offered through specialized, intelligent technology. Such technologies could help seniors to stay longer in their own residence with some degree of independence, which would decrease the workload of caregivers.
GUARDIAN is a European research project that provides an innovative approach to support caregivers by means of a social robot that:
- Provides information about the situation at home to the caregivers through human-robot dialogue and through sensing;
- Provides daily structure for the senior through reminders to eat something or take medication
How GUARDIAN works
GUARDIAN is a platform that consist of a social robot in the home of the elderly that is connected to caregiver apps through the GUARDIAN cloud. The social robot serves as a companion of the elderly and interacts with the older person at home. Guardian provides reminders to eat or drink or take medicine and it provides daily structure for the senior. The robot also serves as the ‘eyes, ears and a communication channel’ for the caregiver. It unobtrusively senses the overall well-being of the senior and provides feedback to the formal and informal caregivers. The caregivers are able to instruct the robot remotely through the app to engage in dialogue, send a message that will be relayed by the robot, or the person in need of care can be contacted directly. This relieves the homecare nurses form high workload since time-consuming routine tasks and check-ups can now be done by the robot. GUARDIAN also provides a helping hand and reduces stress and care burden of informal carers through reassurance and by easing communication between relatives. On top of that, with GUARDIAN, seniors have a social companion in the house to combat loneliness, boredom and deactivation This makes it possible for frail seniors to live in their own house for as long as possible.
The GUARDIAN project is co-funded by the AAL Joint Program and national institutions in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy
- JEF S.r.l.
- Eindhoven University of Technology
- University of Geneva
- University Hospitals of Geneva
- Politecnica delle Marche
- National Institute of Health and Science on Aging
- Zorggroep Noordwest-Veluwe