[A]s the baby boomer generation grows old and if the number of elderly care workers fails to grow with it, many people might end up being cared for by robots. According to the Health and Human Services Department, there will be 72.1 million Americans over the age of 65 by 2030, which is nearly double the number today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country will need 70 percent more home aide jobs by 2020, long before that bubble of retirees. But filling those jobs is proving to be difficult because the salaries are low. In many states, in-home aides make an average of $20,820 annually.
“There are two trends that are going in opposite directions. One is the increasing number of elderly people, and the other is the decline in the number of people to take care of them,” said Jim Osborn, a roboticist and executive director of the Robotics Institute’s Quality of Life Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. “Part of the view we’ve already espoused is that robots will start to fill in those gaps.”The Baby Boomer generation, ever so enamored of navel-gazing and so full of self-love, were loathe to care for their own parents and instead were inclined to institutionalize their long-suffering parents into group homes. That's bad enough. Worse yet was their moral and spiritual example, which failed to foment in their children (i.e.,those of my generational cohort and those that followed, like Millenials) the desire to have children themselves. The result is that there aren't enough children to take care of mom and dad, and there are only so many low-skill migrants and down-on-their-luck native Americans willing to work for less than half the US median income to discharge this arduous task.
Another aspect of this developing phenomenon is that we are seeing yet another symptom--the hook-up culture being the most obvious attempt at forming emotional bonds in the relational moonscape that is American culture these days--of Americans' increasing social isolation.