I recently attended the funeral for my aunt. When I was young(er), I always thought that the gatherings after funerals were a bit macabre. Now I really appreciate them because, with our hectic lives, we don’t get the cousins together like we used to. Our family’s get-together had a warm fire burning, lots of food, and a little awkwardness as we gingerly uttered hellos – hoping we had the right names for those we rarely see.
My determination not to let it be so long until I get together again with relatives was further sealed when I somehow came upon a 2003 article:
“A new robot will now make life better for the elderly people in Japan who have no one to look after.
The Wakamaru, a child-like robot that combines the roles of nurse, companion and security guard, will soon be in the market to look after the growing number of old people, reports The Telegraph.
According to its developers, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the robot can patrol a house 24 hours a day, alerting family, hospitals and security firms if it perceives a problem.
The robot, which speaks with the voice of either a boy or a girl, can be set to remind forgetful people when it is time to take medicine, eat and sleep. Wakamaru is the first household robot able to hold simple conversations, based on a vocabulary of around 10,000 words. It can not only speak but can understand answers and react accordingly.”
Now it would take more research to find out how those robots sold, but it sure sold me on doing my best to keep my family human. In fact, I trolled some more to see what the prognosis was for my generation and our ability to keep sharp. Phew, if you don’t like what you read online, just keep looking:
“Myth: Older people can’t learn new things. Seniors often are portrayed as people who are stuck in their ways. Studies show, however, that the capacity for learning generally doesn’t change with age, though the ability to store new memories may decline slightly. In many cases, older people actually may learn new things faster because they have a broader base of knowledge and experience on which to build.”
So my plan is to stay sharp witted and young at heart so R2D2 doesn’t have to remind me to take my vitamin C.