Practical Technology for Seniors

July 2024

Amazon recently announced the introduction of technologies in Canada called Alexa Smart Properties which are being tested in Orleans, ON.

Seniors in assisted living facilities are having an Amazon Alexa smart speaker placed in their room.  They use this to control basic functions such as turning lights on and off, calling family members, playing music and hearing announcements.  Speakers are linked to a central system allowing the facility to customize features for local needs.

This Amazon experiment at integrating technology into homes of seniors is promising.  Speaking to the system is easier than typing on a keypad, getting up to reach a light switch or listening to garbled voices on an intercom system.  Before going outside, seniors can ask Alexa if they need a jacket or if it is going to rain.  Saying “call my daughter” and conversing without having to find or reach a telephone is more than a convenience.  It can be a necessity for those with visual, hearing or walking difficulties and wanting to remain independent.  The system can remember personal passwords for accessing e-mail, banking and newspaper accounts.

This use of technology offers seniors greater control without having to work harder or learn new skills.

Technologies such as this can help seniors remain independent and capable in their high-rise homes.  Family members and building management can be more comfortable knowing that older residents in a building are less isolated and more capable of functioning on their own.

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