A New Kind of Caregiver

August 24, 2012

I read about a movie opening nationwide today called Robot and Frank about an elderly man and a robot who serves as his caregiver. My first thought was about what is missing when we delegate things that should be done from love to an automaton. What do we learn about our parent, ourselves and the process of living through the responsibility and work of caring for an aging parent? There is undoubtedly a satisfaction in being able to pay back some of what has been done for us by our parents.
Then I thought maybe the robot is the perfect contradiction to the elderly man in the film when a programmed machine is contrasted with vulnerability. The point could be that with life and aging come elements which can’t be programmed or planned. The planning is certainly important and a good part of what we do as elder law attorneys, but the counterpoint to that has to be the humanity and understanding which must be in an estate plan. The same structure and humanity combined in the man and the robot caregiver. I am looking forward to seeing the movie and what perspective it gives me on life and the work so many people dedicated to serving the elderly in our society do every day.


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