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Personalizing Amazon Alexa for Seniors


By: My Caring Plan

Amazon Alexa just may be the perfect digital device for your loved one. Seniors can talk to Alexa just as they would a normal person and ask it for a wide range of services. As a holistic resource, Alexa can become an integral part of your senior’s daily routine.

However, setting up Alexa for your loved one can take time. It’s not always clear how to integrate accounts and set up apps for Alexa. Let’s go over key aspects of personalizing Amazon Alexa for seniors so your loved one can make the most of it.

Alexa for seniors

Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash

Challenges of personalizing Amazon Alexa for seniors

Given the depth of services Alexa provides, set-up can be fairly involved. It’s important to guide your loved one through this process. Especially at the start, be sure you’re available to help them learn Alexa skills and answer any questions.

Start by setting up their Amazon account. This way, Alexa can easily integrate with all Amazon services down the road. You only need an email to get started.

You might also consider printing off a list of Alexa commands. While it may be obvious to you how to ask Alexa certain things, seniors may not feel comfortable with voice-activated technology at first. Create a “cheat sheet” so they feel comfortable asking about the weather, playing music and even calling you. Later on, they’ll likely not need this sheet.

You should also pay special attention to the volume control so that your loved one can communicate with and understand Alexa in the long run.

Essential set-up for personalizing Amazon Alexa for seniors

First things first: you’ll want to set up Alexa with essential services. You can preconfigure many of these items, so that your senior doesn’t need to worry about set-up.

  • Set up phone contacts so your loved one can call you via Alexa.
  • Save their address for ordering Uber rides or getting food delivery.
  • Create medication reminders that your loved one might not remember.
  • If your loved one has smart house apps, you can integrate them into Alexa, including lights, thermostat, TV, security cameras and house locks.
  • My Life Story feature for seniors with dementia allows you to save “memories” that your loved one can play back.

Entertainment set-up for personalizing Amazon Alexa for seniors

Next, it’s time to set up the fun stuff! Most entertainment set-up can be preconfigured as favorites in Alexa. Basically, just ask Alexa via voice to “link” your accounts and services for a seamless experience.

  • Integrate your loved one’s favorite entertainment apps, including music, radio, audio books, sport matches and trivia shows.
  • Set favorites for weather, traffic and news.
  • Set favorites for other areas of interests, such as bible passages, exercise programs and shopping apps.

Alexa is an excellent way to boost your caregiving abilities from a distance. With it, seniors feel secure, are entertained, and they get answers to any questions. It’s also a friendly tool for those with dementia or immobility. With voice-activated commands, seniors don’t have to strain arthritis joints or their vision either.

Personalizing Amazon Alexa for seniors will ensure that your loved one has everything right at his or her fingertips. Remember, when in doubt, simply check out Amazon’s Alexa Guide for in-depth steps.

Caregiving can be challenging. My Caring Plan has a list of resources to help guide you through the questions you may have. Resources include financial, legal and health information.

Sources:

  1. Amazon Echo and Alexa for the Elderly, Tech Enhanced Life, https://www.techenhancedlife.com
  2. Amazon Echo for Dementia, Daily Caring, https://dailycaring.com/
  3. Alexa Guide for Seniors, Vivint, https://www.vivint.com/
  4. Amazon Alexa for Seniors, Super Carers, https://supercarers.com/

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