Although many would be reluctant to get involved with Smart Home technology, installing a Smart Speaker seems a very easy choice. Plug-in an Amazon Echo speaker or a Google Home device and there are many ways in which you can seek help from this Virtual Assistant. You do not need to get involved with keyboards or remotes. Your voice is the only control device you need. Provided you have Wi-Fi in your home, as many do, your Smart Assistant is just waiting to be asked.
If you are a senior living in a Senior Living Home, such an assistant is a major help for you, for the staff of the Home and for your family and other caregivers. There are many reasons why this is a wise choice for everyone concerned.
in addition but not covered here, there are applications created for seniors that are built on top of the standard Smart speakers. These make the interface even more intuitive and easy to use for seniors. Examples of this are SoundMind and LifePod.
Smart Speakers Can Be Companions
For starters, a Virtual Assistant can almost react as a companion would since it uses Artificial Intelligence. In this article, we will discuss particularly the Google Assistant which you access through your Google Home. However, you will find very similar capabilities if you are using the Amazon Alexa. These Virtual Assistants are continually improving as more and more people use them. They learn by what works and what is less satisfactory.
Here are just a few of the things you could do with your Google Assistant:
- You can customize your Google Assistant so that it works with systems you may already be using such as your Google Calendar or Netflix.
- You can ask questions when you need to have some information.
- Surprisingly it has a personality, so you can ask it to tell you a joke or even sing a song.
- You can have it play music for you, control your TV or let you know the latest news. You can even ask it to play background sounds such as the crack of a fireplace or the sound of a waterfall.
- You can even play games with the Virtual Assistant. This can be very helpful in keeping your brain active, which can be very effective in delaying any memory problems you might have.
- As you might imagine, it can help you make phone calls or send and receive text messages using only your voice.
Smart Speakers Can Reduce Loneliness
One major concern for many seniors is that they are lonely. A Smart Speaker can be a companion. A Smart Speaker can also help you make contact with your friends and family much more easily. You can communicate via text, WhatsApp or other similar applications by voice. This avoids the complexity of small screens, buttons, and operations that might be too complex for some seniors. A review of depression scores of older residents who used a Smart Speaker dropped by 44 percent over a six-month period according to Soundmind CEO and co-founder Erum Azeez Khan.
Smart Speakers Can Help With Routine Tasks
The virtual assistant you contact through your Smart Speaker can do much more than merely be a companion. It can also control other Smart Devices if these are installed. If somethings are awkward to do, then an appropriate device may well be able to handle the task. Raising the blinds, adjusting the thermostat or switching off lights are all possibilities. For seniors with mobility difficulties, these devices can be a godsend.
Smart Speakers Can Give Reminders
Seniors may find they have slight memory problems and here again that Smart Speaker can be a help. A gentle spoken reminder each day to take any necessary medications can be a real help. Reminders can easily be set for other activities that might otherwise be forgotten. When you need a timer, then the Smart Speaker can set one going for you.
Smart Speakers Can Help Caregivers Stay in Touch
In a Senior Living Home, security and safety demands that caregivers stay in touch with residents to ensure that all is well. The Smart Speaker can monitor activities and signal when something unexpected has happened. If all is well, the caregiver can be made aware of this without needing to disturb the senior resident. Applications like LifePod provide an easy way of setting up such monitoring processes.
Senior Living Homes With Smart Speakers Are Preferred
For all the reasons we have discussed, a senior resident will have a much more pleasing and safe living arrangement when a Smart Speaker is operational. It also means that caregivers can communicate better with their residents with less effort. This can mean you provide better service to your residents at lower costs. Any Senior Living Home with Smart Speakers will have a competitive edge when compared with those not so equipped. This is a win-win-win situation.
Further reading on this topic
A great deal is being written on this topic and the following articles are just a selection of what you will find.
- LeadingAge 2019: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Smart Speakers in Senior Living
- Smart speakers could be both helpers and companions for the elderly
- Why a Google Home Device is Perfect for Seniors
- 3 Reasons Seniors Need Voice Command Devices
- Opportunities, and Risks, with New Smart Voice Technology in Senior Living
- Senior living looks to smart technology to keep residents, staff connected
- Voice Assistants Making an Impact in Senior Living
- 10 things to try with your new Google Home Smart speaker