Voice Assistance Devices for Assisted Living Residents

Voice assisted devices could provide benefits to assisted living residents.

Our family recently had a member who had to move into assisted living, specifically memory care. And while his condition wouldn’t warrant the use of something like Alexa, it did get me thinking about the possibilities of someone in an out-of-home placement using voice controlled devices.

I also realize assisted living can be a sensitive subject. All I hope to offer is some ideas from a technologist perspective, and maybe even a solution when it comes to using voice-assisted devices, such as Alexa and Google Assistant, for people with a wide variety of medical conditions.

After learning how assisted living works and the various arrangements available to residents, it made me think about how voice-assisted technology could be beneficial in their daily lives.

I’m certainly not advocating for these devices and technology to replace those working in assisted living who are the backbone and hard working employees at these places.

I think in my mind, it offers another option as to using technology which really isn’t that techie. In basic terms, really having the ability to speak is all you need for most remedial voice controlled devices.

Assisted living companies may find it beneficial to study the ways voice controlled devices could be utilized as a perk for their residents and families.

For example, reminders could be used in a variety of ways from memory to behavior (meal or activity reminders).

Another use is the drop-in capability of Alexa, which would make it fairly easy for family members to connect with each other and catch up on things. Non-techies would probably find this even easier than a smart phone.

Or regular flash reports could be generated to include appropriate content, in-house communications, or a variety of news, announcements, etc.

Here’s a list of uses, thoughts, and ideas of voice-controlled devices for assisted living:

– Variety of reminders such as activities, meals, appointments
– Info card of variety of phrases which can be used
– Keeping in touch with family members by voice and/or video
– In-house announcements, news, and updates
– Audiobooks and plenty of other audio content
– Photo stream updates
– Potential drop-in communication between service providers or advocates

Assisted Living Company Ideas: Just as some hotels are experimenting with voice controlled technologies, assisted living companies could offer Alexa as an option for those residents it would benefit.

Start with a small test number of units to find potential uses, and if positive results, roll-out as a perk or add-on service.

Field Services – Offer Voice assisted device implementation, configuration, and support. For some assisted living companies this may be more feasible to test an implementation instead of absorbing the initial capital costs.

Keep a small stock of break/fix units for easy replacement which provides a high-level of customer service to your clients.

The voice assisted device market continues to grow at this writing, and may solidify as more than just a fad. With that said, these devices could be good tools which could be included in assisted living environments in a variety of uses.

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