How Does Smart Technology Help Seniors?

McNair Dallas Law

Technology Healthcare Trends

Amazon is introducing two new features for its “Alexa Together” elder care subscription service.

Many families have begun using smart technology like automatic medication dispensers, biomedical monitoring, and smart speakers to improve safety at home.  “Alexa Together”, an elder care subscription service, expands on the existing Alexa Care Hub. Tech Crunch’s recent article entitled “Amazon’s ‘Alexa Together’ elder care subscription service for families now supports up to 10 caregivers” reports that it includes the following:

  • An emergency helpline
  • Fall detection response features
  • A remote assist option that allows family members to manage settings on the elderly person’s device; and
  • An activity feed for family members that notifies them when their loved one is active or if there has been a lag in usual activity.

With a new “Circle of Support” feature, seniors can now have up to 10 caregivers on their subscription. Both the senior and the primary caregiver can now add additional caregivers, or “circle members,” to care for an aging loved one. Circle members can be siblings, cousins, friends, or close neighbors. Circle members can also include the spouse of the primary caregiver, so each spouse receives alerts on their smartphone. Additional caregivers will get access to things like daily alerts and quick check-ins through the activity feed. The new smart technology feature is now available to all Alexa Together users.

Alexa Together’s remote assist functionality will soon let primary caregivers remotely set up Alexa Routines, which are designed to group together actions seamlessly. Therefore, if a primary caregiver’s loved one starts every morning by turning off their alarm, turning on their bedroom light, asking about the weather and then the news, the primary caregiver can set up a personalized routine that does all of these actions automatically. That way, seniors don’t have to ask Alexa to do each action separately.

“Primary caregivers will be able to set up Routines for their loved ones just like they do on their own smart technology, like turning on the household’s lights at sunset or setting up a good-night Routine, where Alexa will turn off smart lights and play sleep sounds,” the company outlined in a blog post.

“Amazon will automatically send an email about the newest Routine to the aging loved one, so they are informed whenever a new Routine is set up.”

Amazon also announced last year that it was bringing Alexa to hospitals and senior living centers.

Alexa Together works with supported Alexa devices, like the Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show, and is available either as an add-on service or in a device bundle. The subscription service costs $19.99 per month or $199 per year.

Reference: Tech Crunch (May 12, 2022) “Amazon’s ‘Alexa Together’ elder care subscription service for families now supports up to 10 caregivers”

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