Everything You Need to Know About Alexa for Seniors

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Ways to Use Alexa for Seniors & Senior Living Communities

“I am so thrilled to have Alexa. I have one in every room of my apartment!” — Ruth, VoCo Customer

VoCo personalizes Alexa for seniors. This is our ultimate guide to How to Use Alexa For Seniors. We partner with Senior Living Communities to create a world-class senior living experience. With a quick installation process and custom Alexa applications, VoCo is your partner for Alexa for Seniors.

Understanding How Alexa Works (for Seniors)

Talk to Alexa Like A Friend

Understanding new technology can be a challenge. Luckily, VoCo makes Alexa easy to understand.

All you need to know is that talking to Alexa is like talking to a friend.

If you want your friend to play a song you would say “John, play some Frank Sinatra”. If you want Alexa to play a song you would simply say “Alexa, play some Frank Sinatra”. It’s really that easy.

“Alexa is really easy to use and it has a really beautiful speaker.” -VoCo Customer

Seniors Love Using Alexa

The 5 Best Alexa Skills for Seniors

Skills are apps for Alexa. There are thousands of skills already developed for Alexa. VoCo equips your seniors with the most valuable skills. VoCo eliminates the setup time for seniors. Seniors don’t have to hassle with setup to get value from Alexa. Alexa is ready for each senior with their personal preferences from day one.

1. My Buddy

Staying safe is important to everyone. This skill makes it easier to keep seniors connected. With My Buddy, Alexa can call, text, or email a family member or caregiver if the resident is in trouble. This is just more way to enhance resident safety and comfort.

2. Park Creek Menu

Seniors are always asking, “What’s for lunch?”. With VoCo, now they can just ask Alexa! If your senior living facility partners with VoCo, seniors can access your facilities’ menu on a daily basis. Many seniors find this much more convenient than a sheet of paper.

3. Jeopardy

Just like the classic TV Show. Play Jeopardy with new challenges daily. This is a fun way to keep the mind agile.

4. Price it Right

This fun game is just like the popular TV game show with an added twist. You are told an item on Amazon.com and have to guess the closest price. The twist is you are paired with someone else who is playing in real time! Whoever gets closer to the object’s real price gets more points. This game is a fun way for seniors to stay engaged.

5. My Life Story

This last skill is a great way for seniors to relieve some of their happiest moments. This application is ideal for those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Family or caregivers type in the senior’s favorite memories. Later, you can ask Alexa to read out their life story. Set to calming music, Alexa gently walks seniors through some of their most fond memories throughout their lives.

Elevating the Modern Senior Living Community

What makes Alexa special is how valuable it can be for seniors. Alexa is a great way for seniors to stay active, engaged, and healthy in their community. How? From today’s menu to the week’s activities, VoCo builds personalized applications in partnership with your community.

With these applications, anyone with an Alexa can stay up to date. Keep friends and family of residents up to date on what is going on at your facility. Independent and Assisted Living facilities can benefit most from installing Alexa.

What Seniors Love About Alexa

Many seniors use Alexa similarly. From phone calls to getting today’s weather. Alexa makes a great personal assistant for seniors to maintain their independence. VoCo pre-configures the Alexa with a resident’s news and sports preferences in advance. Additionally, VoCo devices come with engaging games for residents to play.

-Listening to Your Favorite Music

-Calling Friends and Family

-Getting Today’s Weather

-What’s Going on in the World?

-Remind Me to Take My Medicine

What are Seniors Saying About Alexa?

While many start off skeptical, what is most exciting is watching their expression change in 5 minutes from skepticism to excitement. Seniors love Alexa. With paper handouts of the most common phrases for seniors, it’s easy to learn this new technology.

“This is really wonderful”

“Alexa is much simpler than using a computer”

“This is so nice to have, this is great”

“I love my Alexa”

Tech for Seniors

New technology is hard. In the past, seniors have been late adopters of technology. Small buttons, confusing interfaces, and a lack of education has prevented mass senior tech adoption. But tech adoption is now climbing among older adults. Pew Research Center states that “Roughly two-thirds of those ages 65 and older go online and a record share now own smartphones”. Why this new growth? The growth is driven by advances in interfaces. It’s easier than ever for seniors to make the most of technology. Alexa is a big part of this.

Seniors are adopting smartphones and new technology rapidly

Alexa for Seniors: Keeping Seniors Connected

Alexa is about keeping seniors connected and independent. Seniors love listening to their favorite music, getting today’s weather, and calling friends and family. Some seniors even set medicine reminders using Alexa to increase their independence. Overall, the benefits of Alexa are increased happiness, convenience, and independence.

AARP says “Smart speakers, or digital assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo can prove helpful for older users.”

How Alexa Benefits Senior Living Communities

Elevate Your Community

  • Alexa for senior living communities is rare. Elevate your resident experience to attract new residents and keep existing residents longer.

Families Stay Engaged

  • With VoCo’s custom Alexa applications, your resident’s families can stay connected with what their parents are doing. This is a great way to keep families informed without the need to constantly check-in on their parents.

Make News in Your Community

  • Many senior living communities experience great press and marketing opportunities. Innovate with Alexa and bring attention to your community.

Enhance Your Resident Experience

  • This new technology is beginning to revolutionize both care and engagement for seniors. Keep residents longer with an engaging community fostered by Alexa.

Why Voice for Your Senior Living Community?

Voice-first platforms make it easy for seniors to use tech

For any new technology, the number one factor is its usability. Seniors consistently refuse to utilize technology if it is confusing, contains small buttons, or is hard to see. According to Pew Research Center “Older adults face unique barriers to adoption, ranging from physical challenges to a lack of comfort and familiarity with technology”. Innovations in technology like Alexa have offered a new way for seniors to engage with technology, their voice.

VoCo helps seniors get up to speed on Alexa

Talking to Alexa is Like Talking to a Friend

Many seniors don’t enjoy learning the latest technology. Voice-first platforms like Alexa remove much of the learning curve from technology. Seniors get all the benefit without the hassle. Talking to Alexa is like talking to a friend. Instead of navigating complicated interfaces and trying to press small buttons, seniors simply talk to Alexa like a person. This engagement encourages seniors to stay active and connected to their community.

No More Small Buttons

New technology is hard. In the past, seniors have been late adopters of technology. It’s easier than ever for seniors to make the most of technology. Alexa is a big part of this. “All the benefits come from talking” It’s the most natural way to get things you want. When you want someone to play Frank Sinatra you ask “John, can you turn some Frank Sinatra on?” With Alexa, replace with John with Alexa and you can get the exact same result. For seniors who are living alone, this type of interaction can help people get more engaged in everyday life.

Voice & Video

Amazon’s Echo Show combines voice and video for seniors.

The Echo Show with large screen and speaker

If controlling everything with just your voice is too big a leap, there are also devices with screens available as well. This voice + video combination makes the transition easier for some seniors.

The screens are touch screens so there are still no small buttons to press. All commands can be executed by voice but some are augmented with the video screen. Additionally, many seniors enjoy video calling with the Echo Show.

Partnering With Innovators

Park Creek Independent Living Case Study

Civitas Senior Living, Capitol Seniors Housing, and VoCo are partnering to enrich the lives of the active senior residents at Park Creek Independent Living by piloting the use of Amazon’s Alexa, a virtual assistant, in each resident apartment.

Civitas Senior Living, Capitol Seniors Housing, and VoCo have seniors saying, “Hello” to Alexa

VoCo chose Park Creek Independent Living as the ideal location for a pilot of this sort because Civitas Senior Living, Park Creek’s management company and Capitol Seniors Housing, the ownership group behind Park Creek, are known as innovators in the senior living space. Park Creek Independent Living, located in Cypress, Texas, is a vibrant and diverse community of seniors who want the best of the best for their golden years.

“VoCo is excited to partner with Civitas Senior Living in creating a unique and value-driven experience using Amazon’s Alexa specifically geared towards seniors. Together, we are providing the first scaled use of Amazon’s Alexa technology in Texas for senior living. This technology is easy to use and creates an engaging and positive experience for Civitas residents. I am confident that our partnership will focus on building upon one another’s strengths to enhance the living experience of the senior residents.” — Leon Coe, Co-Founder of VoCo

Any Park Creek resident who chooses to participate in the pilot program receives a complimentary Alexa device. Residents can use the devices to set reminders, stay connected with family and friends, get updates on news or sports, and even keep up with Park Creek’s activities and dining options. It is the goal of the program to enable residents to maintain their independence and freedom, while ensuring they are as connected as they like to their personal network, fellow residents, and the great programming at Park Creek. The pilot seems to be succeeding beautifully.

Resident Ruth Adams reported, “I am so thrilled to have Alexa. I have one in every room of my apartment!”

Ready to Get Started?

Across the nation seniors are using Alexa. Are you ready to elevate your community with Alexa for seniors? You can get started today and learn more on how to integrate Alexa into your facility. This technology is entering senior living facilities across the country from California to Texas to New Jersey. Bring a modern experience to senior living that keeps residents engaged, healthy, and independent with VoCo.