Are you concerned about senior isolation for your aging loved one living alone? As seniors continue to stay Safe and Sound at Home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may seem difficult to keep them engaged and prevent the depression or anxiety that can come from persistent loneliness. At Senior Home Companions, our caregivers can help our clients and their families with isolation, along with a little help from voice-activated technology like an Amazon Echo or Google Nest.
Most importantly, smart devices like the Google Nest (formerly known as Google Home) or Amazon Echo, commonly called Alexa, can keep an aging loved one better connected with friends and family. When paired with an individual’s cell phone, Alexa can make speakerphone calls and send text messages for them. The Echo Show can also make video calls on a large screen to easily stay in touch with loved ones and prevent senior isolation.
Voice-assist technology can even be connected to your home phone service and can increase safety by calling 911 if a senior is in need. These technologies will likely require help for a senior to set up in their home, but the benefits are numerous.
Alexa and Google can remind your aging loved one to take medications at certain times, even multiple times a day or on a specific schedule per day or week. They can also personalize a wake alarm for morning or nap times, and set timers for cooking, exercise or other timed tasks.
Voice assist technology can be customized to your aging loved one’s location, and can check the current weather, traffic and local or national news. Seniors will love asking Alexa any number of questions, such as conversions for baking, history questions, or just about any fact that can be searched online. Older adults with dementia or memory loss will find great benefit to being able to ask questions repeatedly and receive an instant answer.
Google and Alexa can both play music and podcasts, as well as read audiobooks via services like Audible or Google Play Books. There are also many fun games to play on these smart devices, like trivia questions, song quizzes, joke generators and more. Staying engaged with activities like these can help prevent senior isolation in your loved one. The Amazon Echo even has licensed games like “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” “Deal or No Deal,” and “Jeopardy!”
When connected with other smart technology, these voice assist devices can help seniors control nearly every aspect of their home to stay comfortable and safe. Just a few home appliances that can be controlled with Alexa include the indoor/outdoor lights, television, door locks, thermostat, security system and more. Aging adults with mobility issues will especially benefit from not having to get up to turn on a light or change the thermostat anymore.
As with any new technology, smart devices with voice assist automation will likely take some time for an aging adult to learn. But with patience and assistance in setting them up, seniors can find a whole new level of independence and freedom from social isolation. Our Senior Home Companion caregivers would be happy to help your aging loved one set up a similar smart device and to prevent loneliness by helping them stay Safe and Sound at Home.