What is Alexa?
Amazon Echo is a voice-activated and controlled smart speaker that uses an assistant, Alexa, to perform requested tasks. These tasks can be anything from basic requests, such as asking the weather, setting alarms, playing music, to advanced tasks such as turning off lights or controlling the thermostat.
Smart speakers and voice-technology are booming across the United States, with over 100 million Alexa devices sold and integrated into more than 100,000 smart home devices.
Alexa is built to interact with anyone who has a voice. But, can Alexa really help older adults? Yes, absolutely! I’ll highlight a few features that are useful for seniors.
How can Alexa help Seniors?
Check the Weather
You can ask Alexa about the weather. Say, “Alexa, what’s the weather?” or even, “Alexa, what’s the weather tomorrow?” to see the next day’s forecast. If you wonder what the weather is like where your friend lives, just ask, “Alexa, what’s the weather in Boston?” No typing online or waiting to catch the forecast on the News. Instant answer!
Set Alarms & Reminders
You can tell Alexa to set alarms for the morning or appointments. There are nearly 89% of adults 65 or older who are currently taking prescription medications. It’s often critical that these medications are taken at their appropriate times, but it can be difficult to remember. Ask Alexa to remind you to take your medication.
No paper or pens needed. Say, “Alexa, make a list.” Create your shopping list, to-do list, or grocery list. It’s easy with voice. Never have to say “what was that thing I was going to ask….” again.
Playing music is one of Alexa’s most popular requests. You can connect to multiple streaming services – Amazon Music, Spotify, Youtube, or more. Just say “Alexa, play music” or “Alexa, play the Beatles.”
Speak with Family & Friends
You can make outgoing phone calls to family members and friends. You can even make a video call if you have an Echo Show. (Check out Speak2 Family – we’re offering 60 days free!)
Listen to Audiobooks
Audible makes it super-easy to listen to your favorite books, articles, and podcasts. It is all hands-free control. Simply say, “Alexa play Audible,” and you’re set to go. You can listen to new releases, originals, fiction, non-fiction, and more. You have the option to listen to freebies (see great examples here) or purchase a subscription to listen to more.
Alert a Loved One When You Need Help
Receive immediate attention from a trusted family member or caregiver. One of the great benefits of Alexa is that you can reach her through your voice. Pendants and life alerts may help, but what if you don’t have it on you or within reach? Plus, they’re ancient history. Simply tell Alexa that you need help or fall down and have it sent directly to immediate help. (Try this with Speak2 Family).
Your voice can control your smart thermostat, Roomba, light switches, doorbell, and more with Amazon Alexa. Say, “Alexa, turn on the lights” or “Alexa, make it 2 degrees higher”. You can even have Alexa set your thermostat at a certain temperature.
iRobot is a popular linked account with Amazon Alexa.
Exercise & Stretch
Add more to your Alexa with skills to track activities. For example, record how long you did yoga, what stretches you did, when you had a glass of water, and more. You can share this information with family, trusted friends, or your doctor. (Try this with Speak2 Family for this feature!)
In all, you can discover new things to do and interact more during the day using the sound of your voice. Your voice is powerful! Just speak out to make it happen!
Speak2 and Alexa for Seniors
You can optimize all that Alexa has to offer when you combine these advanced skills with the Alexa device. Speak2 Family works with Alexa to lower isolation, improve communication and the overall lifestyle of Seniors and their families.
Speak2 Family is giving a free Alexa and 90-days of our software as a Holiday Special!