It was very early in the morning, before 7:00 AM. Lucy Crossman had gotten up in her apartment at Vitality Traditions at Mill Creek in Tennessee. Lucy often wakes up early, but this morning she felt dizzy and had a pretty scary fall. As she lay on the floor, she thought about getting to her cell phone, but she was having trouble moving and was concerned that she may put herself in an even worse situation if she moved too much.
Nobody of any age wants to fall and be left alone without help. But for someone aging, no matter how independent they are, it becomes something that is more possible and something you hear about more often.
Lucy kept her cool. She knew she had a companion in the room with her that could help. “Alexa, get Jan.” Lucy called out to Alexa, whom she regularly uses to call her daughter Jan. The call went through, and Lucy told Jan what happened and that she needed help. Jan made a call, and Lucy was taken care of by some medics and back to her community in no time.
So why do we love Lucy? Never one to sit idle, Lucy went out of her way to let her community know what happened and how much the Alexa they gave her helped. As Lucy says, “I really wanted them to know so that everyone can be made aware of how Alexa can help. It really is a wonderful thing and I want others to benefit like I did. If it weren’t for Alexa, I would’ve been there for who knows how long.”
Many seniors are adopting Alexa because it’s an easy way to get information, play music, and do many other things the rest of us get on our smartphones. But Vitality provides all of their residents with an Alexa so they can get more specific information about their community, use Alexa like a phone, and even send out “text” messages to family members, who can respond with an app provided by a company called Speak2.
“We built apps to connect people of all ages. My mother is the perfect example. At 89, she is not texting on an iPhone, but she still wants to be in touch with everyone. So Speak2 allows people like my Mom to ask for help, get schedules, and anything else her ecosystem can provide that’s important.” says Matt Smith, co-founder of Speak2. Speak2 services Independent and Assisted Living Communities across the country, helping them manage their Alexa devices and adding their app to Alexa.
Lucy, 82, grew up in Southern California but moved to Mill Creek recently to be near family and to live in a wonderful community like Vitality Traditions. She worked in the electronics and aeronautics industry, and you could often find her line dancing. These days she enjoys reading and being social at Mill Creek. Her three daughters and nine grandchildren keep in touch, and her positive attitude and desire to help others is inspiring. “I don’t want this to be about me, I just want everyone to know how much Alexa can help, especially in a situation like I had.” And that’s why we love Lucy.