The Amazon Alexa Guide for Elderly [2022 GUIDE]

Technology has become so advanced that even older people want to keep abreast of the latest updates and breakthroughs. Amazon’s Alexa is one such voice-operated smart device that instantly caters to your needs and performs a task within seconds. 

If you are interested in investing in an Alexa device for your elderly parents, or you are a senior citizen learning the basics of Alexa, then this guide is just for you! 

What Is Alexa?

Alexa is a voice-enabled virtual assistant largely dependent upon artificial intelligence and automation. Alexa is programmed to do much more than basic tasks like any voice-controlled digital assistant. Alexa is like a virtual helping hand aimed at fulfilling your basic needs. 

Alexa is an innovative software that emulates commands and creates an all-in-one smart home framework. Amazon Echo, a burgeoning line of hands-free speakers, connects Alexa to multiple digital devices and implements some of its features.

How Is It Different From Amazon Echo? 

Amazon Echo belongs to the hands-free speakers that connect to Alexa devices and perform actions instantaneously. It can be compared to the likes of Google Assistant working with Nest devices and Siri with Homekit.  

An Echo device with a visual monitor transcends information and displays various widgets and icons for automatic access with touch control. While the Echo dot is a baseline affordable orb-like structure with superior sound quality, the Echo show presents an HD-smart display that enables access to your smart home and a robust security system. 

This way, Alexa and the Amazon Echo work simultaneously to power your smart home.

Which Amazon Echo Is Best For You?  

Amazon offers several Echo devices that vary in price points and features. Refer to the table below to purchase the Echo device best suited for you.

Feature Echo (4th Gen) Echo Dot (4th Gen) Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
Price $99 $50 $249.99
Microphone Yes Yes Yes
Speakers Yes Yes Yes
Camera No No 13MP
Line in/out  3.5 mm line in/out 3.5 mm line in/out No
Dolby Dolby Audio No  Dolby Audio
Zigbee Smart home hub Yes No Yes
Screen No No 10.1” with 1280 x 800 resolution
LED Clock No Only on clock model No

While the Echo Dot is the cheapest Echo device, Echo Show is equipped with an added screen. 

If your loved one is looking only to access normal tasks like playing music, asking Alexa random questions, and controlling your smart home system, the Echo Dot serves these functions. 

An immersive upgrade to the base product is the Echo Studio, a Dolby-Atmos compatible smart speaker designed as a home cinema unit. 

On the other hand, if you are interested in an extensive integration that combines functionality and security, the Echo Show will be perfect. You can use Alexa to start a video call, watch tv shows, and even access your security cameras via the Echo Show system.

How Can Alexa Help An Aged Person? 

An Alexa account allows an aged person to connect to numerous smart devices and expand smart home features. A senior person can use Alexa with voice control and connect it to compatible devices.

For instance, the Alexa App on your smartphone or even Echo Show can be used to play music, start phone, and video calls, and even receive medication reminders and access to-do lists.

Moreover, the Echo Dot and Echo Studio automatically identify your voice and easily execute tasks. Alexa helps older people in their day-to-day activities, making life easier for them. 

How To Set Up Alexa For Older Adults  

Anyone can set up Alexa for seniors via the Alexa App with a smartphone. You can either choose to add a new device now or set it up later for your elderly loved one. A site search will redirect you to the Amazon website.

  • Step 1: Create an Amazon account and download the Alexa App on your smartphone. 
  • Step 2: Make sure that your Alexa ecosystem is connected to WiFi.
  • Step 3: Connect your Echo device to a power outlet. 
  • Step 4: Set up basic details like your language, WiFi name, password, and Amazon account information on your Echo device. 
  • Step 5: Input your name and address and pair your device with the Alexa App. 

If your parent or grandparent is not tech-savvy, you can choose to set up Amazon Echo on your cell phone. Note that Echo requires only a one-time setup and that it will still work even if you leave the house or log out.

Using Alexa For Seniors 

The hands-free experience of doing tasks independently without the help of younger ones is beneficial for older adults. So even though there are unlimited ways of transforming your Echo device into a smart robot, here are some of the most basic things you can do with your Amazon Alexa.

Plays Music, Audiobooks, Or Shows 

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Music soothes the minds of every troubled soul, and elderly people are no stranger to its calming effects. Most older users prefer meditational or devotional music to calm their spirits and prepare for the day ahead. 

You can simply say “Alexa, play some music” with your Amazon Echo. Similarly, you can watch a show on your Amazon Show screen with a paid Amazon Prime Account or listen to audiobooks with Kindle and Audible. Then, you can read a book on your Alexa App or control the volume and playback controls with your voice-controlled assistant.

Weather And News Updates 

Alexa for seniors is designed to assist your every need with daily voice reminders and notifications. For example, you can ask Alexa for updates from a weather channel or pre-determined news updates.

If you want to narrow it down to a specific news update from your favorite news channel or get in-depth weather reports, you need to set this up on your Alexa App. 

Open the app, add the Big Sky Skill for regular in-depth weather updates throughout the day, and even select a specific news station on the Amazon Alexa App. 

Add Contacts And Make Phone/Video calls. 

After integrating your contact list on your Alexa App, you can effortlessly make phone calls with your voice. Of course, this also pertains to emergency calls with your Amazon Echo Show or even your smartphone. 

You can even use Alexa to make video calls. Older adults are primarily dependent on calls for connecting with family members or loved ones. Make sure that you have the numbers of everyone on your contact list so you can use Alexa promptly for video calls.

Similarly, Alexa assists you by dialing your selected numbers immediately after you encounter an emergency and need immediate attention. Again, echo devices are designed to ensure your utmost safety, and Alexa helps in calling emergency services right away. 

Create Medication Reminders  

If you are an older adult or have an elderly parent, you can set medication reminders for them and make sure that they stay on top of their daily medicines. The reminder feature seamlessly integrates with an Alexa-enabled device and sets reminders for seniors at any given point in the day.

Depending on the pharmacy that prescribes your medicines, there is a skill that scans your prescriptions and sets automatic reminders successively. The Giant Eagle Pharmacy is equipped with this skill, and many other pharmacies are too. 

Set Alarms 

One of the key features of Alexa for seniors is its reminders or alarms feature, which helps elders never forget about their doctor’s appointments or daily functions. 

Setting reminders requires no extra effort. You can use Alexa via Amazon Echo to seamlessly connect with the entire ecosystem. After opening the app, click on Menu and Reminders, and Alarms. Set a new alarm by pressing the “+” icon.

You can now use Alexa to receive reminders on your smartphone. Alexa sends you recurring reminders on specific days or every day accordingly. 

Grocery Shopping

Alexa devices help you organize your shopping lists and order items successfully. While grocery shopping, you can ask Alexa to add items to your shopping list and even double-check them. 

Alternatively, Alexa for seniors is useful when you need to add items to your Amazon Fresh Cart and get them delivered straight to your doorstep. 

Control Your TV 

The Fire TV stick is a quick-to-access remote connecting to your TV and changing the channel with voice commands. Before accessing the full benefits of this skill, you need to set up Alexa with your specific television brand. 

You can control your TV with an Amazon device and even voice commands. The functionality of this product appeals to users of all kinds. 

Special Alexa Skills For Elderly Users 

Alexa Skills predominantly make life easier for your family members and senior users. We have already discussed some of the things elderly users can do with Alexa. Let us take a look at some of the advanced skills of your Alexa device. 

Smart Home Integration

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An Alexa device uses voice control to activate other smart home devices and appliances quickly. This feature allows senior citizens to navigate their home space and relieve the stress of controlling multiple devices with a voice command. 

The smart speaker acts as a hub of all your smart devices and enables access to Alexa for operating multiple voice-controlled functions. Now you can turn on the lights, adjust your temperature, and even access other Alexa-enabled devices with voice commands.

This feature even extends to home security systems. For example, seniors can monitor their surroundings through Echo Show and arm and disarm their security system. In addition, Alexa connects to your smart door locks and camera system–a useful Alexa skill for controlling your home security system. 

Echo devices also come with a free feature called Alexa Guard. After integrating Alexa with your home security system, you will be notified if it detects certain sounds, including breaking glass and smoke alarms. This prevents burglary or theft, and you receive instant alerts even if you are spending time away with your family or loved ones. 

Create An Intercom System 

A brilliant feature for people diagnosed with hearing impairment or who have a multiple-level home. This only works if there are several Alexa devices throughout the house. The drop-in skill allows people to communicate hands-free with a voice command easily. For instance, if you notice that your elderly parent does not know their way around the house, you can easily use this skill to announce a message via Amazon Echo. 

If a family member is in a specific location, you can connect to them by saying “Alexa, drop in on the kitchen” and then “hang up” after recording your message.

It is a DIY intercom system that is reliable, secure, and prompt. It is a useful tool for adult caregivers for checking in on their senior loved ones. 

Burglar Deterrent Skill 

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Another useful skill that mimics sounds like the dishes clinking or a baby crying to keep potentially harmful people from breaking into the home of your loved one. This is more or less a supplementary skill that works like Alexa Guard

It creates an interactive environment instead of notifying you about burglary or embezzlement. Usually, people tend to take advantage of realizing that an elderly person is at home alone. 

By implementing this skill into your Alexa devices, your elderly parent can focus on their activities instead of worrying about potential threats. 

Captioning 

The Echo Show is a smart speaker that helps seniors with captioning assistance. The smart display screen turns into a captioning device for tv shows, podcasts, and music. Alexa captioning is an accessibility feature that can be enabled on all Echo devices. You can even use Alexa to caption phone calls for your loved ones. 

Show And Tell 

An outstanding feature for seniors who are blind or have cognitive disabilities. If you have an elderly parent who exhibits signs of any of the above conditions, then your Amazon Alexa will be a very convenient tool. 

Senior users can enable this feature by holding any object upright in front of their Amazon Echo camera and asking Alexa, “What’s in my hand.” This feature is helpful for older adults who want to make sure they have the correct item before using it diligently. 

Alexa Care Hub 

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One of Alexa’s new skills is the Alexa care hub feature. This feature connects the Alexa in your home and an Echo device in your elderly parent’s home. The care hub feature enables access to their system and even alerts you in an emergency. 

To set it up, you need to connect the two Alexa accounts. This feature only provides your loved ones with a general overview of your day instead of an in-depth review. It keeps your loved ones informed about your daily activities while maintaining your privacy. 

Ring Doorbell Monitoring 

This feature protects your elderly loved ones from falling prey to elaborate doorbell scams or having to answer the door unnecessarily. 

A Ring Doorbell automatically connects to your Alexa via the Ring App and shows a video feed of everyone who shows up at your door. If you are not familiar with the person at the door, you can tell your parents to ignore it and avoid interaction.

How To Secure Your Echo device 

Every time a groundbreaking device enters the tech world, a valid question is whether it can be hacked. A hacker could potentially gain access to your device and obtain personal information.

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Alexa-enabled devices are always waiting for the wake word and recording everything once activated. Ensure you have a strong Amazon password and delete old conversations and recordings. Even though there is a small risk, it is highly unlikely. 

Closing Words 

Amazon Alexa and Echo Show are perfect amalgamations that guarantee elderly home safety and swift communication. It is a secure voice-activated technology device that allows your parents to work independently while ensuring your peace of mind. 

Investing in a secure Amazon Alexa for seniors makes life easier for them and creates a secure environment for exploring modern technology. We hope you can make an informed decision after reading this guide.

 

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