How Amazon’s Alexa Can Help Seniors Age In Place

Technology Can Help Seniors Age In Place

According to Gray New World, 79% of seniors expect to ‘age in place.’ What does that mean? For seniors, aging in place means being able to live in their homes safely and independently. However, this expectation becomes challenging to hold when aging seniors cannot manage their households and easily communicate with their loved ones. This problem needs a modern solution: aging in place technology.  

Aging in place technology can help families ensure that their aging loved ones can stay in their homes safely and maintain their independence. For example, families can set up Amazon Alexa devices in their loved one’s house as a way to virtually communicate with family and friends, install smart home safety, partake in fun activities with Alexa Skills, and more. Compared to other aging in place technologies, Alexa is most beneficial to seniors because they can easily communicate with their family without using hard-to-read screens and small buttons. 

Which Alexa Is best for Seniors who want to Age in Place? 

Amazon offers various Alexa devices that can be more or less compatible with a user’s lifestyle. Whether it be the design, price, or extra features, an Alexa can help any aging senior! Let’s take a look at some of the Alexa devices on the market:

Echo Dot 3rd Generation 

The Echo Dot 3rd Generation is one of the most commonly used Alexa devices. Compared to other Alexa’s, the Echo Dot is smaller, screen-less, and less expensive, costing $39.99. Like all the Alexa devices, the user can ask Alexa to play music, read the news, complete tasks, or call family and friends. Finally, this Alexa is very compact, making it perfect for small spaces and blending in with the rest of the user’s home. 

The Echo Dot is compatible with aging in place seniors who:echo show 3 as an aging in place technology for seniors

  • Want to use voice technology basics for making requests, communicating with loved ones, or receiving information. 
  • Are visually impaired or have trouble looking at screens.
  • Are looking for an inexpensive Alexa device.

Echo Show 5 

The Echo Show 5 has the same capabilities as the Echo Dot but will also display answer results on a 5.5-inch screen. The addition of a screen to Alexa allows the user to watch videos, integrate with security cameras, or video-call. For example, an Alexa user can ask, “Alexa, show me a video on how to bake cookies.” Then, Alexa will pull up a video and display it on the screen for the user to watch! At $64.99, the Echo Show 5 is excellent if users want voice technology and display features. 

The Echo Show 5 is compatible with aging in place seniors who:

  • Want to use voice technology for making requests, communicating with loved ones, or receiving information.
  • Want to watch videos, integrate security cameras, or video call with friends and family.
  • Are looking for an inexpensive Alexa device with video display capabilities.echo show 8 as an aging in place technology for seniors

Need a larger screen and speaker? Check out the Echo Show 8 for $104.99. 

Echo Show 10

The Echo Show 10 is one of the most complex Alexa devices on the market. Being the latest addition, this Alexa comes with a 10.1-inch screen. It also comes with a motion censored stand that moves the screen, so it is always in the user’s view. Along with everything in the Echo Show 5 and 8, the Echo Show 10 comes with a higher quality built-in camera that can take photos and act as a security monitor. In all, the Echo Show 10 provides a higher quality experience and added features at a price point of $249.99. 

The Echo Show 10 is compatible with aging in place seniors who: 

  • Want to use voice technology for making requests, communicating with loved ones, or receiving information.
  • Need a larger screen than the Echo 8.
  • Want to watch higher quality videos or video calls with friends and family.
  • Would like to have a built-in security camera.

Want an easy way to communicate with your senior Alexa user from your mobile device? Check out the Speak2 Family App!

Extra Smart Devices and Amazon Products

Seniors and their families can invest in other smart devices and Amazon products to help seniors age in place. Whether it be for home security, managing a household, or for fun, here are some products that may be useful: 

  • Smart Light Bulbs

    Seniors can use Smart Light Bulbs in conjunction with any of the Amazon Alexa Devices. With Smart Light Bulbs, users can easily turn on/off lights with their voice. For instance, if a senior needs to walk to the bathroom or downstairs in the middle of the night, they can say, “Alexa, turn on lights.” Therefore, instead of walking in the dark and turning on/off a switch from across the room – possibly risking a fall – seniors can ask Alexa!

  • Echo Flex Plug

    Amazon Echo Flex is an Echo device that is used on its own or with any Alexa device to add voice control to outlets. Seniors can use Echo Flex to control fans, lamps, appliances, and other plug-in tools. In addition, this device is perfect for small spaces and even comes with the ability to attach an automatic night light, making it perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms, or small hallways. The Echo Flex is a good aging in place technology because seniors can control devices too high or low to reach and appliances with complex switches and small on/off buttons. 

  • Ring Video Doorbell

    The Ring Video Doorbell can be paired with any Alexa Device to notify the user when someone rings the doorbell or detects any motion from the front door. With the Ring Video Doorbell, seniors will be able to talk to those at their front door by simply saying, “Alexa, talk to the front door.” This smart doorbell system is especially beneficial to seniors looking to age in place because Alexa will provide an extra sense of security for seniors and their families. 

  • Kindle Paperwhite

    The Kindle Paperwhite is a lightweight digital reading device users can take anywhere. This is an excellent alternative to paper books for seniors because of its ability to change font size, style, boldness, and screen brightness. For more, seniors can even connect their Kindle to Alexa for audiobooks. 

Age In Place with Alexa and Speak2 Family

In all, no matter which device you choose, Alexa will make aging in place easier for seniors and their families. 

Interested in using Alexa for your aging loved one? Join Speak2 Family’s Alexa for Seniors Project!

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