Helping Isolated Seniors in a COVID World with Alexa

isolated senior using alexa to connectAny marketing professional will tell you that the best new products address an important, unmet need. When Matt Smith, CEO of Speak2 Family, recognized the need to stay more “in touch” with his aging parents, he took his software background and turned voice technology into a senior-friendly source of social connectedness. Not only would this help his parents, but it would help connect isolated seniors everywhere. 

Since Matt’s elderly parents could not navigate texting on a small smartphone screen, and his family members – ranging in age from teens to 40-somethings – communicated most often and best via texts, Matt devised an easy way for his parents to use an Alexa device. Now, Speak2 Family’s Alexa for Seniors program is filling that unmet need. The timing could not be more advantageous – as connecting with aging loved ones, now isolated due to the COVID crisis, has never been more essential.

Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation in Seniors

According to a recent web post by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), loneliness and social isolation for seniors has unequivocally been associated with major health issues. For example, higher rates of depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, dementia, and even early death. No other event in modern history has caused such extreme isolation for seniors as the pandemic.

Stay Connected with Alexa 

Speak2 Family provides a novel way for non-tech-savvy seniors to connect with their friends and family. Speak2’s proprietary, user-friendly software now makes frequent communication between older and younger generations simple using an Amazon Alexa device and three core functions available to a secure circle of family and friends:

  • Messaging – Speak2 Family makes it easy for seniors to send a message by telling Alexa what they want to say. Then, designated family members get notified of the message. Likewise, family and friends with the app can send a voice message to the senior Speak2 user. Or, they can TEXT a message, just like they would with so many other contacts. Speak2 Family will then READ it to the senior. In all, Speak2 is keeping the older and younger generations connected in the formats they prefer!
  • Requests – Requests for help using Alexa and Speak2 Family, such as a ride to the store, church on Sunday, or a doctor’s appointment, can be communicated just by voice, with all linked recipients receiving the message. Then, someone in the circle can claim it and respond. Such as, “I’ll bring mom to church on Sunday.” No more multiple phone calls back and forth to handle these simple requests.
  • Activities – It is easy to monitor and manage activities central to the health and well-being of the elderly with Speak2 Family. Seniors can announce when a health aide has arrived or departed; when they are going out for their daily walk and when they return; if they have exercised; if they have taken their medications, etc. The goal is to keep family members aware of the senior’s activities when they can’t be there every day in-person. 

Peace of Mind and Simplicity with Amazon Alexa

Seniors are not only interested in using Alexa, but they are also excited about the increased engagement with family and friends. Plus, the peace of mind that help is only a voice command away. Speak2 Family has met a real need for isolated seniors. Especially, in the midst of COVID-19.

To help families experience the benefits of Alexa for Seniors, Speak2 Family is offering eligible seniors a free Amazon Echo (Alexa) device as part of a market research study.

 

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