You may already know that voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home can help seniors age in place.
If you’ve been considering a voice assistant for a loved one and wonder how Alexa and other technologies help seniors in real life, consider Madeleine Séguin’s experience.
The 100-year-old living in Bruyère Village, a senior community in Ottawa, maintains a busy social schedule. She was interviewed for a story (https://bit.ly/3FSXVzK), “Conversations with Alexa: How robots are helping Canada’s aging population connect.”
She says Alexa helps her stay organized, track her dinner dates with family and neighbors, and allows her to make calls quickly without having to hunt fora phone number.
Bruyère Village is part of a pilot project with Amazon that’s testing the Alexa Smart Properties solution.
It turns out that seniors there aren’t skittish about trying out new technology, and they’re enjoying it.
Some ways Alexa can improve seniors’ lives include:
Plus, the pilot program is helping to automate jobs – dinner reminders and other announcements, for example – that once were done by a human knocking on residents’ doors.
Robots also can play a role, and they’re being tested at several Toronto senior centers through a program with the University of Toronto.
For example, they can call out bingo numbers, lead exercise groups, and interact with residents, especially since they’re human-like and can smile, laugh, and change their facial features. During meals, for example, some residents interacted with robots like they would with other human beings.
Though they’ll never replace people in long-term care environments, robots may be able to take on repetitive work and make such facilities run more smoothly and ease staff burnout and employee turnover. They also have the potential to help people age in place at home for a longer time.
Also, see the video, “Combatting loneliness in LTC homes with virtual reality,” included in the story.
It shows the joy virtual reality brings to residents of Dogwood Lodge, a Vancouver long-term care facility. A recreation therapist helps residents use VR headsets to virtually scuba dive, visit exotic locations, or revisit spots residents had seen when they were younger.
“A lot of them still have items they want to check off their bucket list, and the virtual reality allows them an opportunity to step outside the four walls of their care home and try something new,” says Isabella Laliberte, a recreation therapist.
Jason Gelios, SRES-Senior Real Estate Specialist, Author, Public Speaker, and Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise across the globe.