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In the future: 'Droney' the helper

April 4, 2016
by Kathleen Mears
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A while ago I watched a TV documentary about drones. The military has used drones for years to carry explosive devices and to hit distant targets with precision. Now drones are being manufactured and purchased by the general public. Most are used for photography and surveillance. In the future companies could be using them to deliver packages to our door.

Small drones can hover over a target and be controlled by a person using a smart phone. Drones seem like the ultimate cool device.

I would think it would only be a matter of time before nursing homes would use drones to do some of the routine tasks required for resident care. They could check on residents and answer call lights. "Droney" could go to a resident's room, videotape their status and request, and return to the nurses' station with that information. 

A drone, fitted with the right equipment, could monitor the hallway and videotape the locations of residents. They could deliver linens and stock. They could do what many aides consider to be the thankless task of giving residents ice and water. They could take water pitchers to each resident and bring empty pitchers back to the kitchen.

Drones could gather residents for meals and wake them for medical appointments. They could also be programmed to pull up and remove resident bedcovers.

"Droney" would be the ultimate in nursing home customer service. It could do tasks in a timely fashion without drama or complaint. "Droney" would not be too busy, or feel pestered.

I will admit when I think of a drone, Star Wars’ R2-D2 and C-3 PO come to mind. But today's drones do not yet have personalities and opinions, and some residents would miss that.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...