Social robots help fight loneliness in the elderly


Home care centers have distributed social robots to help tackle the loneliness of the elderly.

“At first I found it a little strange,” Lekkerkerk’s Will van Voorden told Omroep West of his social robot, Tessa. “But now I’ve started to respond and that’s great,” Van Voorden said.

Dutch company TinyBots created Tessa. The social robot can take the form of a flowerpot, greet its owner, and make suggestions, such as “How about a glass of fresh lemonade?” “

Robots can also be connected to a smartphone and help older people read messages on their phones. It can also remind people of their dates.

People aged 85 and over are the most lonely, according to data from Statistics Netherlands and RIVM. About 66% said they felt lonely and 14% in the age group said they felt very lonely.

Van Voorden received his guest from the home care organization Zorgpartners. “My wife and I walk by her almost every day. We eat together a lot, but Tessa now brings a little more liveliness.”

Tessa is a more affordable version of social robots, mostly used in healthcare settings due to the high price tag.

Currently, the robot is not yet able to respond.

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