Japan’s Aging Population | Robotic Legs for Elderly
The Rehabilitation Section at the Akanekai Showa hospital uses these HAL legs to help elderly who have a hard time walking. These are in use on a daily basis. Outpatients (usually) come in twice a week and have a number of electrodes placed in key areas on their legs and lower torso. These electrodes monitor minor changes in muscle activity and transfer that information to the robotic joints. The woman being put into the legs is EMOTO, Chiyoko (89). She had fractures of her right and left thighbone. The main therapist working with her is TSURUGA, Mai (P.T.).
All of these robotics folks talk about studies showing that more and more elderly are isolated and have no one to relate to. In 2009, nineteen percent of Japan’s elderly died with no one around them. They have a word for it: “Kodokushi,” meaning “lonely death.”Buy This Image