News from the Land of Fruits and Nuts

Hello folks, let’s chat… So, I read that in the very near future senior citizens in our society will be cared for by robots.  This from a professor of geriatrics living in the Land of Fruits and Nuts known as California. I’m sure that’s completely coincidental.

I have some concerns. For starters, who will be expected to program Rosie the Robot and her well-meaning friends?  It’s a fair question. I remember trying to help my late mother-in-law operate her TV remote. We did everything from duct taping the buttons Mawmaw Lucy didn’t need to push, to putting fingernail polish on the ones she did. And we still found her watching MTV at all hours, supposedly because she didn’t know how to find her favorite program, but who really knows.


Seriously, that remote was a constant source of frustration for Lucy, and by extension, an ongoing challenge for the rest of us. During one Sunday afternoon visit, my sweet husband tried to interest his mother in yet another demonstration on operating the remote and why she should pay attention to what he was saying. Mawmaw was equally determined to cut class.

“Phil,” his mother said patiently, “I understand what you’re saying. A remote is a good thing– if you can figure out how to use it.”

Mawmaw had a solid point there, and it makes my case. Having robotic ears around to alert loved ones in case of an emergency could be a good thing, but programming Rosie is likely to be an issue for all of us.  Phil and I can operate remotes, but we still high-five each other when we manage to set the DVD player.

However,  none of these concerns of mine hold a candle to my biggest problem with this idea. The Good Book tells me to honor my father and mother. Before I, Belle of All Things Southern, trust their care to a robot I will move to The Land of Fruits and Nuts and watch MTV all day. Yes, I’m that serious.

Hugs, Shellie

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  • Faye Bryant
    August 11, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Ahh, yes, the Senior Adult Remote Control challenge.
    My parents, aged 90 and 84, managed to almost weekly de-program the remote, or get the TV off the correct channel for the remote & cable box to operate on their bedroom TV. It was a regular phone call.
    Then, our eldest son came up with the idea to delete the channels that the bedroom TV would go to. Now, we don’t get the phone calls nearly as often.

    However, as I think about it, I wonder if the remote messing up wasn’t just a way to get the family to come and visit more often.

    I’m with you, Shellie, no robots. Mother is suffering with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, and is able to live at home right now, but that may change. It may come to the point that she will have to live in a place equipped to keep her safe. But that place will be staffed with people who care, not robots. Not on my watch.

  • Kermit Stephens
    August 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I thought I WAS signed up for your newsletter. What is this I am receiving each week? Blessings.