If you are not able to stay with your seniors all day, you usually worry about their mood and health. They need to take their medicine on time, call their relatives anytime, get informed about the news, talk to someone and have fun. As you might guess, when you are getting older, it becomes harder to walk around and switch lights, answer the door or phone. So most of the seniors need “an assistant” and trust me, Alexa is a great assistant when you use it effectively. In this regards, smart speakers are great devices for seniors, caregivers and anyone worries about their elderly relatives.
In this post, we will tell you “how to use Alexa skills to create the ultimate assistant for your elderly loved one“. Alexa can help them to turn on or off the lights, answer the door, remember to take medicine, read a book, listen to some music and many more things. All these things are very useful features for seniors and there are great Alexa skills for them. Only requirements are a power outlet, a WiFi network and an Alexa enabled smart speaker. Below you will find the best Alexa skills for seniors and our recommended smart speakers with Alexa enabled.
Important: Remember to prepare simple and short notes for your seniors on how to use Alexa. Writing “Alexa” on or near the speaker will help them remember when they forget the name of the voice assistant.
- Remembering Medication Times and Getting Personal Alerts
- Alerting Relatives or Friends
- Asking the Date, Time, Weather Report and Daily News
- Calling and Messaging with Alexa
- Listening to Music, Radio or Podcasts
- Controlling Lights, Heat, and Other Smart Devices
- Listening Audio Books
- Requesting a Ride
- Ordering Food and Voice Shopping
- Doing Exercise
Remembering Medication Times and Getting Personal Alerts
One of the most important things for the elderly is to take their medication on time. If they are taking more than one medicine, keeping all of them in mind can be difficult even for you. One can tell Alexa about her/his medication times and ask her to remind her/him of the day. Your elderly can also create personal alerts and set alarms for the things that need to be remembered. This feature can be used to get up in the morning, turn off the oven, drink water, do a certain job or remember something. They can say “Alexa, remember me to [x] in [x] hours (or minutes or time).” and your Alexa-compatible device will alert them when the time comes.
Alerting Relatives or Friends
You always want to hear from your seniors to be sure that they are good. If you want your elderly relative to be able to easily alert you in an emergency, you can use Alexa for this. They can call you or send you a message using Alexa. There is also a great Alexa skill for alerting anyone. The Alexa skill, Ask My Buddy can alert one or more people in an emergency situation. Just say “Alexa Ask My Buddy to alert everyone/someone“. We strongly recommend that you install this skill to your seniors’ Alexa device. Click here for detailed information.
If you wish, you can connect various detectors to the home of the elderly and set them to alarm in the event of a fire, a gas leak or else. You can buy Alexa compatible smoke detectors or gas detectors from Amazon.com or any other smart home market.
Asking the Date, Time, Weather Report and Daily News
We all want to learn the time, weather report and daily news. Thanks to Alexa, it is easy for our seniors to learn all of these by just asking “What is the date?”, “What time is it?”, “What is the weather like?”. They can ask “What is my flash briefing?” to hear the Flash Briefing which allows them to hear the latest news and reports. You can use the Amazon Alexa app to sort new sources or add new ones. All these features make our seniors’ life easier, especially for the ones with visual impairment.
Calling and Messaging with Alexa
When you want to hear from your elderly relatives, you call or message them. Doing the same thing may not be that easy for them. Using an Alexa-enabled smart speaker, they can make calls and send messages using voice commands. They can say “Alexa, call [x]” or “Alexa, dial number [xxx xx xx]” to make phone calls or answer them. Unfortunately, 911 cannot be dialed through this system right now, but this may change in the future. The ability to call and send text messages with Alexa is a very good feature for seniors. You can learn more by visiting this page on Amazon.com.
Listening to Music, Radio or Podcasts
Elders like to listen to music or radio during the day. It can be difficult for an elderly person to get up from where they sit and turn on the TV or radio, but they can do it easily with Alexa just saying “Alexa, play some music.” You can get an Amazon Prime Music or Spotify Premium subscription, so they can easily listen to any music during the day. They can listen to music by saying the music genre, the artist or the album name. They can control the volume by saying “Alexa, volume up/volume down.” It is a nice feature for the elderly who wants to listen to music and want to relive their old days. Your elderly loved can also listen to podcasts, by telling the podcast’s name to Alexa.
Controlling Lights, Heat, and Other Smart Devices
One of the best ways to turn on or off the lights, to set the house temperature, turn off the stove, look at who’s at the door, or watch security cameras from where you sit is using an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. You can buy Alexa compatible smart bulbs, power switches, and smart thermostats for your elderly loved one. In addition, you can build a nice smart home system by buying Alexa compatible doorbells and security cameras so your seniors can control everything with their voice. As the number of smart home products increases, life for older people who have difficulty in moving will become easier. Click this link to check out the smart devices compatible with Alexa.
Listening Audio Books
Most elderly people have vision problems and they can not read as easily as when they were young. In this case, listening to audiobooks may be a better option than reading physical books. You can find a lot of audiobooks at Amazon.com. Just buy an audiobook and Alexa can read these books to your seniors. On this count, elderly people can spend their time listening to the book they want, even they can’t see well. After launching Amazon Alexa app, you can connect to Audible and access thousands of audiobooks. Click this link to check out them.
Requesting a Ride
When you are old, you may have difficulty driving a car. Your elderly loved one can use Uber to request a ride when they want to go somewhere or in an emergency. It may be difficult to do this for the elderly by using a smartphone, but using Alexa they can just call an Uber car with their voice and go on the road. To do this, you must first activate Uber via Amazon Alexa app. Afterwards, you can say “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.” and request a car. You can also change your default pickup location, ask for a ride status, or cancel your ride using Alexa. More info here.
Ordering Food and Voice Shopping
Using Alexa, anyone can order food to their home. There are lots of restaurants and fast food companies taking orders over Alexa. Go to the Amazon Alexa app and look for your seniors’ favorite restaurant or fast food company. After enabling the skill and setting it, they can order food anytime just using their voice.
Shopping also can be a difficult thing for seniors. Your seniors can do shopping using Alexa voice commands and all the products they ordered will arrive at the door of their home. They can make a list of all the products that come to their mind during the day and can order them from Amazon at any time. Alexa will include all available discounts for these purchases. When they want to reorder a particular product, Alexa reminds them of the product they had previously purchased and can easily add it to the cart. This feature of Alexa makes shopping easy for every senior. Click here to learn more about Alexa Voice Shopping.
Doing light exercises may be good for older people. If their doctor approves, Alexa can help them to do mild exercises. Using the Amazon Alexa application, enable the required Alexa skills in the “Health & Fitness” category and they can exercise anytime. In particular, exercise types such as Yoga and Pilates may be more appropriate. Nevertheless, they should consult their doctor before doing this.