Smart-home devices like the Amazon Echo are helping simplify everyday tasks, as well as helping family members stay connected with their loved ones. Using an AI virtual assistant called Alexa, the Echo is a hands-free, voice-activated device with several useful functions.
Studies show a positive response from seniors using this technology. They use these devices to connect them with news, reminders, and music.
When you know about all the uses of Alexa for seniors, you’ll likely want to have one in your home or get one for your loved ones so you can take advantage of all its features.
How Alexa Can Help Older Adults
Alexa responds to voice commands. You simply start your sentence by saying “Alexa,” and then ask your question or state your command. Check out these helpful ways you can use your Alexa.
You can use Alexa to set reminders at specific times. Some uses you could include:
- Medication reminder
- Making appointments
You can create the reminders above by saying “Alexa, remind me to take my medication at 7 p.m.” or “Alexa, remind me about my doctor’s appointment at 10 a.m.” You can set alarms that will help you wake up on time in the morning or alert you before you need to be ready for an event.
If you have recurring reminders or alarms, you can also add the phrase “every day” so you only have to state the command once.
We’ve all been there: You see you’re missing something in your fridge or pantry, but you don’t write it down. After completing a grocery run, you see that you’ve forgotten that item.
Alexa can solve that when you create a shopping list. Say, “Alexa, add eggs to my shopping list.” You can also create to-do lists, and Alexa will read you the full list when you ask.
Date and Time
When you aren’t near a clock, calendar, or your phone, Amazon Echo can provide you with the date, day of the week, and time when you ask. “Alexa, what’s today’s date?”
You can ask Alexa for general information – this can be weather-related, random trivia questions, or anything that comes to mind.
“Alexa, what time does the Chicago Bears game start?”
Make Phone Calls
If you’d like to make phone calls with your Echo using Alexa, you can sync your phone with the Alexa app (this app is downloaded when you set up your Echo.) When the Echo has that information, all you have to do is tell Alexa who to call.
If you want to take full advantage of what Alexa can control, you can optimize your house so turning lights on and off in each room or setting the thermostat is as easy as a command.
Fun and Entertainment
Alexa will play music, podcasts, and tell jokes. You may be surprised at how Alexa responds to more general requests. “Alexa, play relaxing background music,” or “Alexa, play a comedy podcast.”
Amazon Alexa Together for Seniors
Now that you know a lot of the general uses for Amazon Alexa, there’s a specific program that makes the Alexa a good fit for seniors. Amazon’s Alexa Together is an additional service that is designed to help seniors live independently with confidence, as well as connect caregivers and family members to their loved ones.
When you and your loved one have Echos with Alexa Together, you can do the following:
- Remote assist your loved one by setting reminders, adding to lists, or adding contacts to the Echo.
- Establish routines by grouping reminders together. You can set an alarm and add a reminder for your loved one to take their medication.
- Use fall detection through devices that detect the sound of a fall or one that your loved one wears. This can alert you immediately of a fall and get your loved one the help they need.
- Access the 24/7 urgent response feature that’s hands-free and can help you or your loved one.
- Connect with other caregivers or family members through Circle of Support so they can be up to date on what you’re doing.
- Photo sharing. Your loved ones and you can share photos from family trips, outings, or just a selfie you took that day to say hi.
The cost for Alexa Together is an additional $19.99 per month, but it can provide you with peace of mind that makes it easier for you to live independently or for caregivers to reach their loved ones.
Devices for Amazon Alexa
There is a wide selection of the Alexa devices. Amazon Echo products include devices with screens, while some are smart speakers, known as the Echo Dot – they don’t have a screen display but can still listen to voice commands.
Choosing the right one for you will include your budget and also what you want from your Echo. Do you like a home-hub device where you can see a visual display, which means you’ll be able to place video calls in addition to phone calls, or do you want a speaker that takes up less space and can play music and answer your questions? It all comes down to your preferences.
How To Set Up Amazon Alexa
Amazon can walk you step by step to set up your Echo. After plugging in your device, you set up the Echo through the Alexa app – allowing you to control your Echo from your phone.
You select the “More” option, which looks like three horizontal lines, and hit Add Device. From there, you select Amazon Echo and the type of Echo you’re connecting. Now you’re all set and ready to use your Echo with Alexa.
Alexa, Tell Me More About The Oaks at Bartlett
The Oaks at Bartlett is retirement living in style. Here, everyone is excited to be a part of the community and make the most of each day. You’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing quality healthcare is available if and when you need it.
Contact us today to learn more about our community and all that The Oaks has to offer.