Using Voice First Technology to Support Older Adults
Julie (names changed for privacy) noticed that she was frequently having to remind her husband, Carl, to take his medications. She worried that if she was not home, he would forget. Julie and her husband enjoy traveling and have many trips planned over the next several years. She is concerned that her home is vulnerable to burglary while she is traveling. Working with the team at Thrive at Home, Julie now has assistive technology in place so she can be confident that her husband is taking his medications even when she is not home and that their home is secure while they enjoy traveling the world.
Carl takes several medications that are critical to maintaining his cardiovascular health. Julie observed that Carl would forget to take the medication - usually in the late afternoon - if she was not around to remind him.
Julie and Carl have several trips planned over the next few years - with several of them being greater than two weeks long. They worry that their vacant home is vulnerable to burglary.
Julie indicated that she was comfortable using her laptop and smart phone. We recommended a voice first technology device with video capability for the kitchen/common area and an additional voice first speaker device for the bedroom area. These devices were linked to facilitate communication between different rooms. An adult son was given access to the devices in the case of an emergency.
Once the devices were installed and education provided, we installed a hub to integrate the smart home features. We installed light control in the front room, a door sensor and coded access to the garage.
It took 2 hours to install and provide education on the features available. Julie was much more comfortable with the technology. Carl was a little more hesitant, but recognized the need for it.
According to Julie, one of her "favorite features is pairing it with the door sensor and the light. I can set the lights to come on at a time when I am out of the house. I am notified if the door opens."
In addition to the safety features and the lighting, she frequently uses the Echo device for her calendar, reminders, music and pictures. She does admit that "sometimes I forget that it can do things that I am so used to doing on my own like adding a calendar event".
Julie recommends that older adults "begin to use it while they can still understand the technology and program it. I suggest the whole family be in on the process and that each family member use it with their senior to help them have confidence in the Echo. Even having the grandchildren using the program to have contact with the senior will encourage the senior to use it."
Julie and Carl are pleased with the voice first technology and smart home features installed. They have an increased sense of security and Julie has peace of mind that Carl will take his medications as scheduled.
Would you or someone you know benefit from assistive technology? Please contact us for a free 30 minute assessment to discover how technology can keep you safe, organized and connected at home (585.735.9223 or firstname.lastname@example.org).