Automation as caregiver: The role of advanced technologies in elder care

Christopher A. Miller, Wende Dewing, Kathleen Krichbaum, Stacy Kuiack, Wendy Rogers, Steven Shafer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


An unprecedented boom in the elderly population will hit all industrialized and most other countries over the next 30 years. In many cases, governments, social service organizations and even individuals and families are turning to technological solutions to aid in care giving for this elderly population. While much of this technology continues to occupy traditional assistive roles such as aiding in walking, door opening, and communication, increasingly advanced technological solutions are being proposed to aid in monitoring, diagnosis, situation awareness, decision aiding and the direct automation of tasks for either the elderly themselves or for their caregivers. That is, technology is increasingly either occupying or sharing the role traditionally occupied by human caregivers. This role is understudied from a Human Factors perspective and, as with all human interactions with novel technology, failure to consider the humans' needs, desires, capabilities and limitations will lead to unsatisfactory technological solutions at best, and disasters at worst. This panel will explore the role of automation as caregiver for the elderly. The central question will be how automation can be most appropriately integrated into a caregiving infrastructure so that it provides the best, most acceptable and most effective care from both the elders' and the human caregivers' (both professional and informal) perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-229
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 2001
EventProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 45th Annual Meeting - Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2001Oct 12 2001


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