The past decade has shown us a dramatic shift toward a heavier use of technology in our everyday lives. Because of this shift, we’ve been introduced to integrated technology and digital assistants like Amazon Echo’s Alexa, which can perform commands and keep tabs with a simple voice command. Technology like the Amazon Echo allows us to stay organized, work more efficiently and make simple tasks such as turning off the lights and locking doors even more convenient. For seniors adamant about aging at home, it can help make this desire a real possibility. Here’s how this technology and others pave the way for more seniors to age at home:
*Note: you must check your smart home devices to ensure integration with Amazon Alexa.
1. Turn off/on the lights and adjust the thermostat
Although these tasks seem to be simplified already, there are several instances when it might be more dangerous for a senior to get up when they’re tired or simply need to sit or lie down. The ability to control these things by asking a voice-activated device makes it so that they can. These tasks are also useful when a person is already lying in bed and forgot to turn out the lights or turn the thermostat up or down. With compatible devices, seniors can also use the Amazon Echo and Alexa to turn the fan on or off during the night without getting up or fumbling for a remote in the dark.
2. Setting reminders, appointments, or timers
We all know that no matter what age we are at any point in time, we’re bound to forget something. Whether it’s an appointment or a simple reminder, we all make the mistake of forgetting something important and senior adults are not exempt. As a common side effect of aging, they’re often more likely to experience this forgetfulness than us. With the Amazon Echo, seniors can integrate calendars to set appointments, reminders (to do a task or take medication) or set a timer. The timer function is especially useful when performing a task like cooking or ironing.
3. Listening to the news, radio programs, or audible books
Advancements in technology have certainly made things much easier for many of us, but this doesn’t mean it hasn’t been made more difficult for others. With a voice request, seniors can tune into their preferred radio station, hear the latest news or listen to Alexa read audible books. This is especially useful for seniors who have trouble seeing or reading at older ages and would prefer to listen to a story than read one.
4. Can turn on the television and change the channel/volume
For those of us less tech-savvy folks, if we push one wrong button on the remote we have trouble finding our way back to where we want to be. With the right integrated devices, Amazon Echo can help turn on the television, change the channel or turn up or turn down the volume. Unless you have a smart television that integrates with Amazon Echo and Alexa, you’ll need to purchase a specific universal smart remote or a Fire TV to use these features.
5. Ask what day it is or what the weather is like
Finding out what day it is or what the weather is like can be useful for all seniors, but these features are particularly helpful for seniors with dementia, who may have trouble remembering dates or abrupt changes in the weather.
6. Calling/video calling with other family members
While you can use these features to call family members with the regular Amazon Echo, if you opt for the Amazon Echo Show, you can use calling and video calling function to other family members with the same devices. Seniors can reach out to friends and family members when they’re not near their telephone or if they have trouble dialing or calling with their phone.
With the continuous advancements in technology like the Amazon Echo for everyday consumers, seniors can use these technologies to their advantage to age at home longer. Devices like Amazon Echo provide many features useful to aging seniors and those living with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. They can also relieve some of the stressors for caregivers by setting timers, appointments and more.
If you or your loved one is in need of additional care or an advocate who can be there for them when you are not able to, please contact us today. We can help guide you and your family to find a plan that is ideal for them.