Alexa voice assistant helps seniors with dementia
At first glance, Amazon Echo’s Alexa voice assistant might seem like just another tech toy.
But in real life, many have found that Alexa devices can improve quality of life for older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia as well as for seniors with limited mobility and other health conditions.
They’re like intelligent companions and helpers that never get tired, frustrated, or bored.
An Alexa voice assistant is also a great tool for caregivers and anyone who enjoys added convenience.
Here, we explain:
- What the Amazon Echo with Alexa is
- How Alexa voice assistant devices help seniors with dementia
- Who else can benefit from Alexa voice assistant devices
- How much Amazon Echo Alexa devices cost
- How they work
- Where to find helpful reviews and demonstrations
What are Amazon Echo devices with Alexa voice assistant?
Alexa is built into a variety of Amazon Echo devices and is basically a hands-free assistant that you control with your voice.
It’s similar to voice assistants like Siri on the iPhone or Cortana on Microsoft.
Alexa can play music, play audiobooks, set reminders, provide information like date, time, news, sports scores, weather, and more.
Amazon Echo’s Alexa helps seniors with dementia
Even though it doesn’t replace human touch or real conversation, the intelligent voice controls can make it feel like a helpful friend.
Alexa’s voice-activated features are great for seniors with dementia:
- Instantly answers questions, like “what day is it?” or “what time is it?” – it’s a machine, so it will never get annoyed or frustrated
- Plays music, audiobooks, and the news – no need to fuss with complicated controls
- Tells fun jokes and riddles
- Reports traffic conditions and weather forecasts
- Looks up information about anything – like, “what’s on TV tonight?” or “who was the Yankees’ manager in 1978?”
Who else can benefit from Alexa voice assistance devices?
Alexa can give them more control over their environment and more independence.
For example, with Alexa connected to smart home devices, they could use only their voice to turn on the light across the room or adjust the room’s temperature.
And if they wanted to hear music or read an audiobook, they could do it with another quick voice command.
Without Alexa, they’d likely have to ask someone else for assistance with these simple tasks.
How much do Amazon Echo Alexa devices cost?
There are now a wide range of Amazon Echo devices that have the Alexa voice assistant built in.
They’re available at a variety of price points, styles and colors, and include different features in addition to the Alexa technology.
You buy these devices outright and don’t pay any additional subscription fees.
Note: Full retail prices are shown below, but Amazon frequently offers significant discounts on Echo devices.
The most popular Echo devices:
- $40 Echo Dot 3rd Generation – compact smart speaker that fits perfectly into small spaces, least expensive Echo device
- $60 Echo Dot 4th generation – newest version, compact smart speaker that fits perfectly into small spaces, least expensive Echo device
- $100 Echo 4th generation – newest version with redesigned look, rich sound from a more powerful speaker
- $90 Echo Show 5 – 5.5 inch display screen makes video calling easy, watch videos or TV shows too
- $130 Echo Show 8 – 8 inch HD screen and stereo sound makes video calls and watching videos/TV even more enjoyable
- $230 Echo Show (2nd Gen) 10.1” – a 10.1 inch HD screen and premium Dolby speakers let you make video calls, stream music and books, and watch videos, movies, and TV shows
How to use Amazon Echo Alexa devices
Whenever you want to use an Echo device, just say the word “Alexa” to wake it up and let it know that you’re giving it a command.
Because you must use the wake word to activate the Echo, you could put a large sign on it with its “name” to make it easier for older adults with cognitive issues to remember.
What’s needed to make Amazon Echo work
Alexa needs to be plugged in for power and connected to a wireless network in order to work.
You’ll need a computer or smartphone to set it up, but after that, it works over the WiFi connection.
Alexa skills add even more features
Alexa skills are voice activated apps that add capabilities to Alexa-enabled devices.
Amazon is continuously improving and adding new skills – view a list in the Alexa mobile app or find skills by voice by saying, “Alexa, discover skills.”
See helpful reviews and demos on YouTube
YouTube has many helpful videos with reviews and demonstrations on various Amazon Echo devices.
Here are some videos that we found helpful. Some are older, but the info is still useful and you’ll see the devices in action.
- Amazon Alexa Show Giveaway and Dementia Tool – see how this man uses Echo’s drop-in video calling to keep in touch with his mom in assisted living while visits are restricted during Covid-19
- Dad 95, and his Alexa (Echo)
- How Leo’s Mom Uses her Echo Show
- Ways to use Alexa for Seniors
- ALEXA FOR ELDERLY PARENTS: 3 Alexa Skills To Make Life Easier and Safer
- Amazon Echo and Dot review: Everything I’ve Learned in 18 months of real life use
- Everything the Amazon Echo Show 5 Can Do
- Amazon Echo Show 8 review: Alexa is getting even better
- Blind Joy demonstrates how she uses Amazon Echo
Recommended for you:
- Best Way to Make Video Calls to Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia in Nursing Homes
- 9 Entertaining Activities for Low Vision Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
- 4 Ways to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Keeps Repeating Questions
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
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