Many elderly are fully capable of living independently, but their children and relatives may still worry about them. A device that is supporting senior living is Amazon’s Echo. When I told them about it they asked me, “What does Amazon Echo do?” and when I told them that it can order groceries with a voice command for one they we’re surprised something like that could exist. Seniors are finding many of the Echo features easy to use with very little Amazon Echo setup required. One of the most common questions is “can echo dot make phone calls?” The answer is yes, Amazon Echo absolutely can make phone calls.
Amazon Echo Specifications
The Echo comes in five base models currently:
- Echo Plus
- Echo Dot
- Echo Show
- Echo Spot
Each Echo model has specific capabilities. For instance, the Echo Show has a video display while the Echo Plus includes a smarthome hub. All Echo products have Alexa, Amazon’s voice-enabled service included. The Echo is a hands-free product requiring a wake word to activate. Commands may include “Alexa, what’s the extended forecast?” “Alexa, call Mary.” “Alexa, play classical music.” Prices for the Echo products range between $50 and $230. The software included in the Echo products is cloud-based and doesn’t require manual setup. To start using a new Echo product, you simply plug the device into an available outlet and Alexa will perform a guided setup. You need to have a strong WiFi home connection to keep Echo connected online.
How to Setup Amazon Echo
- Connect the Echo to its power source
- Download the Amazon Alexa app on your phone
- Choose set up new device on the app
- Log in with your Amazon account
- Connect app to your WiFi
Echo for Senior Reminders
When using Echo for the elderly, one of the key skills to focus on will be setting up reminders. For instance, you can say “Alexa, remind me to take my heart medication at 7am daily.” You can set up different times for each separate medication with Echo.
When it comes time to write your shopping list, it’s very easy to forget what items you need. To help with this, Echo can be used to generate shopping lists. For instance, as you’re cleaning your kitchen, you may notice you’re low on paper towels and say to Echo, “Alexa, add paper towels to my shopping list.” Ask Alexa to read out your shopping list once you’re ready to head to the store.
Family members who are worried about their elderly loved one or want to check up on them can easily do so from their own Alexa-enabled device. They can call or message the senior or allow the “drop-in” feature. The way this works is the family member will be able to instantly connect with the senior either through the speaker or the video (Echo Show and Echo Spot).
Echo for Security
Echo Plus has a smarthome hub to control your home using Alexa commands. You can control lights, locks, outlets and more without an additional hub. Product brands compatible with Echo Plus include Phillips, GE and Kwikset.
Burglars looking for easy targets often exploit the elderly. According to data gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics between the years 2003 and 2013,
“The ratio of the estimates of property crime to violent crime was higher for the elderly (13 to 1) than for younger persons ages 25 to 49 (3 to 1) and persons ages 50 to 64 (5 to 1).”
Security equipment can also be controlled with the Echo. Enable the Alexa skill for your home security provider from the list of Alexa skills available on Amazon. Once enabled, you will simply say things like “Alexa, check my alarm status” or “Alexa, arm my system.” This will make things less complicated for seniors. Instead of having to work a high tech system, they can simply use their voice to control their security system.
Interested in home security products including equipment compatible with Amazon’s Echo? Contact Protect America to learn more about how they can keep your home safe 24/7 and work with your Alexa application. Go online today to receive a free no-obligation quote.