A new program will offer AI-driven ElliQ companion robots to seniors who need additional support living in parts of the state of Washington.

The Olympic Area Agency on Aging (O3A) and Intuition Robotics have announced a new program to provide ElliQ, the AI-driven care companion robot, to older adults who require additional support in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties in Washington.

This program is part of O3A’s support to older individuals to maintain their dignity, health, and independence in their homes through a comprehensive and coordinated system of home and community-based services that improve quality of life and enable people to age in place.

ElliQ is a voice-operated tabletop device that improves older adults’ well-being and feelings of social connectivity. Users have an average of 20 interactions a day with ElliQ, which has been shown to reduce loneliness for 80% of users while making 90% feel better, and 82% stay more mentally active, according to Intuition Robotics, makers of ElliQ.

“Older adults in rural Washington may not have the same access to in-person support: technology can be a component of wrap-around services to maintain independence and health,” said Laura Cepoi, The Olympic Area Agency on Aging executive director. “Intuition Robotics has a unique and advanced solution in ElliQ, based on great response in other states. We’re excited for our staff to begin offering ElliQ devices to older adults and observing its impact on improved health and increased engagement between older individuals with staff, health care providers, and loved ones.”

ElliQ is designed to reduce loneliness among older adults who live alone or spend most of their day alone. ElliQ promotes healthy living by proactively engaging users with various features, including daily check-ins and conversations, cognitive and physical activities, and connecting to family and friends.

The companion robot enables streamlined communication between older adults on O3A long-term services and their case managers. Individuals do not need to be O3A clients to participate in the program, and anyone 60 years and older who lives in Grays Harbor or Pacific Counties may apply. The program is limited, and enrollment is expected to be completed by the end of March.

“As our aging population increases, we must look to new technologies to assist the organizations and caregivers who are already stretched thin,” said Jon Martin, Mayor of Ocean Shores. “In Ocean Shores, we have so many seniors who are isolated, and we are actively looking for ways to create new community connections. We’re looking forward to introducing ElliQ into our community and alleviating the loneliness some of our older residents have been struggling with.”

This announcement follows Intuition Robotics’ partnership with the New York State Office for the Aging. Among the participants in that project, 97% of users surveyed said that ElliQ had changed their lives for the better.

“The work O3A is doing with the aging community in Washington is incredibly important, and it’s vital for companies with advanced solutions to support them with their mission,” said Dor Skuler, co-founder and chief executive officer of Intuition Robotics. “Older adults around the world have been suffering from a loneliness crisis, and ElliQ is in a unique position to help them and their care teams. We are grateful for the opportunity to take the work being done at O3A a step further with ElliQ at the helm and bring its companionship and health and wellness support to older adults across Washington state.”

Photo via Intuition Robotics