Paris: Grand Master visits home for the elderly where robots to alleviate anxiety and pain are tested
During his time in Paris last week – where he gave a speech at UNESCO and was received by its director – Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre visited one of the most avantgarde projects run by Ordre de Malte France. Maison Ferrari is a home for the elderly situated in a large park on the outskirts of the French capital. It provides a holistic approach with medical treatment as well as psychological assistance and specific activities for the psychophysical wellbeing of residents. But in addition to this, Maison Ferrari is one of the few medical facilities that has embraced innovations in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) applied to healthcare.
Two social robots able to interact with humans are regularly used for psychosocial stimulation and assistive healthcare with surprising results, particularly for the elderly with Alzheimer’s disease. At the request of the Agenzia Sanitaria Regionale (ARS), these two robots have been tested in Maison Ferrari since 2018. Many beneficial effects were noted right from the first stages of the trial, including the prevention of cognitive decline, improvement in socialization and alleviation of anxiety and pain.
“Some residents who had difficulty in expressing themselves managed to speak with the robots, thus externalizing their emotions; others who were tense and aggressive, calmed down as soon as one of the two robots appeared, programmed precisely to interact with patients suffering extreme mood swings,” explained a staff member of the home.
During his two days in Paris, the Grand Master, accompanied by the President of the French Association Thierry de Beaumont-Beynac, did not fail to visit the headquarters of Ordre de Malte France, where its main healthcare, civil defence and assistance to the homeless programmes were illustrated. Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre also met with the heads of hospitaller activities both in France and abroad and visited the Musée national de la Légion d’honneur, which has a room dedicated to the Order of Malta.