In this modern age, technological advances are frequent and common. We can easily get tasks and chores done through apps on our cell phones. We have a whole world of entertainment in front of us on our tablets. We feel safer and at ease with various technological tools. We can even speak directly to technology and get a response.
For many seniors, the hype of technological devices feels overwhelming and unnecessary. But, in actuality, technology can provide benefits for seniors that makes aspects of their lives less stressful.
The Amazon Echo is one popular device that seniors can take advantage of. It is a speaker that comes with the voice of artificial intelligence, Alexa. You simply communicate with it by saying, “Alexa” followed by a command. Alexa can help seniors with emergencies, questions, entertainment, and communication.
Emergencies and Communication
The most useful feature for seniors is the ability to set up an emergency contacts list within the program. It connects to a smart phone and will immediately call an emergency contact for help once the senior tells Alexa to do so.
Many times, it is easier for a senior to speak rather than try to find a button to press for help, which makes this device senior friendly. Seniors can also use Alexa for non-emergent phone calls.
Alexa also has the ability to give regular medication reminders to seniors. They can set up certain day(s) and time(s) for Alexa to give them a friendly reminder that it is time to take their medication. At any point, they can also ask Alexa what time they should take their medication.
Many seniors struggle when trying to navigate Google or the internet, and that is where Alexa swoops in. Instead of Googling the answer to a question they have, they can ask Alexa and she will respond with an answer.
Alexa will also give news updates to seniors when asked. Seniors can stay up to date with current events each morning by listening to Alexa’s news summaries. Additionally, seniors can use Alexa to ask what the weather is on any given day.
Controlling the Lights and Thermostat
Once Alexa is set up and connected to another home automation device, she has the capabilities of turning the lights in a house off and on and controlling the thermostat. Seniors can take advantage of this feature especially if they live alone and have limited mobility. With simple voice commands to Alexa, these features in their house will be controlled for them.
So, is talking to a “robot” actually worth it? Sure, some complex aspects and features of Alexa are probably irrelevant to a senior’s life. But considering everything else Alexa can do, it could make a senior’s life a bit easier.