This project evaluated the effects on aged care residents of the trial use of a socialisation robot in an aged care facility.
The project, ‘Evaluation of the impact of socialisation robots on social engagement of older adults with cognitive decline examined the use of a socialisation robot to enhance the wellbeing of people living with dementia and cognitive decline’, was conducted at Brightwater Aged Care in response to increasing interest in technology use in the care sector.
Socialisation robots are used more commonly in residential aged care settings in Europe, Japan and the US but there is little evidence as to the efficacy of their use.
The study explored resident engagement with the robot and staff attitudes. The socialisation robot, “Alice”, was the first Zorabot to be introduced into an aged care facility in Australia.
Outcomes of the qualitative project provided evidence that the use of humanoid robots in an aged care setting:
- Can positively influence social engagement
- Work best where the robot has control and directs the activity
- Are currently limited but offer many potentials