A Partnership in Eldercare

Shelby Kearns

In February, an elderly New Yorker had a medical emergency and was saved by an AI speaker.

This good news from the New York Post is bad news for the state of eldercare. With others expressing hope that similar devices will provide medical care and companionship for seniors, our reliance on AI is a grim reminder that we're in the midst of an eldercare crisis.

The man, Doo Soo Yoo, was home alone when the speaker notified his care team that he went silent. His AI speakers was provided free of cost through a state grant looking to address the shortage of care workers and "skyrocketing isolation and depression." Helpful as such devices may be, no machine can ever fulfil the need for human care.

To treat our elders with the reverence and dignity that they're owed, families must overcome the unique sex-based challenges that men and women experience when fulfilling their caregiving duties. Meanwhile, our elected officials must reform social programs to create a family-friendly culture. These partnerships will replace the dystopian vision of AI in every home with one in which men like Doo Soo Yoo have someone by their side.

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