‘Tis the season for gifts, which means the Amazon commercials are in full bloom. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing an ad for Amazon, and of course, Alexa.
In case you’ve been wondering exactly who this Alexa is, let me brief you. Alexa is the voice behind Amazon’s Echo device, a tiny little round speaker that will help you perform just about any task you can think of. Or, according to my four year old, Alexa is a tiny lady that lives inside Echo that answers your questions and plays your favorite music.
Alexa does many magical and amazing things that we once only dreamed of. And, without Alexa, many of us would be lost. Yes, it seems lazy and frivolous, but actually Alexa can enhance your lifestyle and help keep you mentally sharp. She doesn’t have to do everything for you, but instead, can just aid you in whatever you might need.
You can use your laptop or tablet to link your Echo to your Amazon account and control all the skills you’d like Alexa to use. Here’s a list of just ten ways that Alexa can enhance your life each day, without taking the fun out of completing your own tasks.
Way You Can Use Alexa to Make a Senior’s Life Easier
Here are several ways that a senior can use an Echo device and Alexa to get information they want or to make their lives a little easier.
1. Keep Your Mind and Body Sharp
With the Daily Workout skill, you can customize your own workouts, then ask Alexa to start it up for you. You can even set a reminder, so Alexa will let you know when it’s time to get up and get moving. Naturally, Alexa can’t move your body for you, but she can guilt you into doing it, and in the long run, you’ll feel better.
If you’re already being mindful of your fitness and using a fitness or step tracker, you can link it to your Echo device.
Alexa is also full of trivia and games… all you have to do is ask. She’ll be ready with all kinds of fun trivia questions and mind games that will help keep you on your toes. Keeping your brain active and engaged is an extra bonus compared to the fun you’ll be having.
2. Keeping Up with Your Calendar
Let’s be honest, we all forget things here and there. But, with your Echo and Alexa as your new companion, the days of not remembering your children’s birthdays are long gone. Just ask Alexa to remind you of something on a certain date, she’s got your back.
Your Echo can remind you of actual events, and even let you know if there’s something you need to do before the event. Maybe you need to get a gift before a party? Or find a new outfit to wear?
Just ask Alexa, she’s there for you.
3. Get a Dose of Nostalgia
Remember the days when you could let your mind wander while becoming totally engrossed in a radio mystery? With your Echo, those days are back! Just enable the Old Radio Mystery skill.
Or, if you fancy yourself a history buff, ask Alexa to tell you what happened on This Day in History. You’ll still be using your own brain power to connect the past and the present, but doing it in a new and fun way.
4. Weather Watcher
Well sure, you can look outside and see that it’s sunny. But, if you live in a place where Mother Nature likes to play tricks (like I do), the window is full of lies! Just because the sun is shining doesn’t mean it’s warm out.
To avoid getting played by the weather, ask Alexa to tell you what’s going on in the great outdoors. She can tell you just about anything you’d like to know about the weather.
5. Don’t Forget to Take Your Medicine
Never again will you have to spend another thought on wondering, did I take my medicine today? Alexa can help with that. Your Echo is meant to help remind you of just about anything, so don’t forget your meds.
Use Alexa in tandem with an automatic pill dispenser and you’ll be set for success. This will help you avoid any unnecessary pain and even illness. Not to mention, taking more medication than you need to and having to make an extra trip to the pharmacy. Who doesn’t love that?!
6. Your Very Own Kitchen Helper
And this kind of helper doesn’t take up space in your kitchen and get in the way! Having an Echo by your side in the kitchen will increase your cooking game and take it to the next level. The amount of time you’ll save and new skills you’ll learn will have you singing Alexa’s praise in no time.
I generally struggle with multi-tasking, especially in the kitchen with a million different things going on at once. With Alexa as your sous chef, you can ask her to set a timer or even convert a measurement, without having to use your hands.
Also, if you choose to activate the Meal Idea skill, then Alexa can provide you with dinner inspiration on command.
7. Shout Out to Other Alexas
This one can be very helpful if you’re in a pinch. Alexa is able to call other Echos, so if you’re caught in a situation where you need help and aren’t able to reach your phone, Alexa is just one yell away.
You can also enable other similar Alexa skills that will allow you to link your phone to your Echo. Again, if getting to your phone isn’t an option, this could be an actual lifesaver.
8. Get the News… Your Way
With your Echo, you can actually customize the news you want to hear. If there’s certain areas of current events that you like to keep up with, but you’ve heard enough on other topics, Alexa can deliver.
9. Order Food
Speaking of delivery… if you just don’t feel like cooking, or perhaps you started making a meal for dinner guests an accidentally burnt the biscuits, Alexa is right there to save the day. It won’t be Alexa herself delivering the food, of course. But, she can most certainly ask someone else to bring it to you, if you’ve enabled one of the delivery skills.
10. Never Run Out of Toilet Paper Again
Or any of your other household items, for that matter. With the ability to purchase just about anything on Amazon, you can just give Alexa a shout out to order cleaning detergent, paper towels, and yes, toilet paper.
You can also have Alexa help you manage monthly subscriptions. If you’re going through more dish soap than you’d originally planned for, simply ask Alexa to change the frequency of delivery. I personally like to have all the boring things loaded on my Amazon so I don’t have to shop for them myself.
Amazon Echo Device Options
Alexa is built into each of these devices so you can choose the best Amazon Echo for the senior in your life.
Summary and Final Comments
The Amazon Echo really takes an “if you can dream it, Alexa can do it” approach. If you’re not sure whether or not Alexa can help you with something, all you have to do is ask. That’s the kind of friend I like.
You can also search Alexa’s skills on Amazon to see all she can do for you. If the thought of getting an Echo seems a little overwhelming, and you’re not sure whether or not you want Alexa in your house listening to you at all hours, just remember, she’s here to help.
I was very skeptical when I received an Echo as a gift one year. Not to mention insulted. I knew I was slightly unorganized but I didn’t know how much my new friend Alexa could help..
But I won’t lie to you, Alexa has gotten me out of more jams than I’d like to admit. Let Alexa do the hard work so you can sit back and relax. She really does take the worry out of so many things. Just welcome that Echo into your home and you won’t regret it.
Do you know of other ways that Alexa and Echo Devices can help seniors and the elderly? Tell me you ideas and experiences in the comments below!
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Note: This article was contributed by Amy Anthony. She is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization authority. Amy loves having an absolutely sparkling house and sharing her top tips on Oh So Spotless to declutter and clean-up with minimal effort. No compensation was received for this article.
Echo, Alexa, and Amazon are trademarks of Amazon, Inc.