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Alexa Skills for smart assistance to elders

By Kaustubh on 19 September 2020

We all have seniors or elderly people in our home who are important to us. They are always special and need better attention from everyone. Their well being and safety is our utmost priority.

Amazon’s smart speakers with Alexa have a wide range of skills that assist elderly people in many smart ways.

Alexa-The Best Smart Voice assistant to elderly

Elders love listening to news,second-generation echo speakers help them in reading news. ask Alexa, to read the news today, it does the work.

Amazon echo dot with a clock helps the seniors to know the time, put alarms, set timer countdown reminders for medication.wake up alarms, night lamps, life made easier with Alexa in echo dot.

For all those who are worried about the safety and well being of their loved ones,the elderly ,this is the best smart speaker for seniors.

The reason being the vast skill set of Alexa providing various usage options from setting medicine remainders to asking for help in emergency.

Amazon Echo Show 8 has eight inch HD display with voice commands and stereo sound.The Best smart speaker used for video chatting with family along with the smart voice assistance with Alexa.

Echo show 8 helps in staying always in touch with our elders through Blink Mini’s Live view.

Live feed always helps in monitoring our loved ones ,no matter how far we are we can always watch them.

Pair your Alexa with the other Alexas in your home and your intercom is ready, Alexa lets your elders talk to the family members. If they need anything, feel hungry or just to say something, things are facilitated with Alexa’s feature Drop-in.

  • Go to Alexa app
  • Start simply saying ,”Alexa, Drop-in on echo name”.
  • End intercom with saying “Alexa, end Drop-in”.

Also read.

The Best Smart Speakers of 2020

How to set up a smart home with Alexa

Alexa Skills for Elderly and seniors

Alexa helps us in providing the best assistance to our loved ones. There are many Alexa skills specially designed for elderly people. Let us know more about them

Alexa’s skills are like plugins to increase the functionality of Alexa.

They add the possibilities of using Alexa in many different ways assisting the users in high productivity.

Most of them are developed by the manufacture only.Some are developed by the third party organisations linked with Amazon.

By just installing then we can use them to extend the functionality of Alexa.

There is an option of customization of skill set also where the users using predefined functionalities by  SDK Alexa software development kits  can create customized skills meeting their requirements.

1.Ask My Buddy -The Alexa Skill for Emergency

This is the most useful Alexa skill that is used by most of the people across the world. 

Alexa sends alert messages to all the contacts added in the alert list in case of emergency. 

The type of alert can be a text message or a voice call or an email, which can be chosen at the time of registering the list and the requested help can also be indicated in the message. 

This is a very useful skill which can save lives, it is not a substitute for 911, but in case of  emergencies this may help someone in need.

How to set up Ask My Buddy skill? 

Once you decide to use this skill of Alexa, there are two steps to be followed to make Ask My Buddy to work

  • First, go to the ‘Ask My Buddy’ website and create an account.
  1. Sign up by entering your name and other information.
  2. Enter your email address and password and click register.
  3. Now you have successfully registered your account with Ask My Buddy
  4. Go to Contacts and add your family and friends 
  • Go to Alexa and enable the skill and link accounts. 
  1. Search Ask My Buddy in Alexa skills. 
  2. Click Enable. 
  3. Enter your registered login details and click login.
  4. Now you can use Ask My Buddy

Test with Check-in feature of Alexa.

   ” Check-in” message tells your contacts that you are OK. They are used to make your family and friends know that you are doing fine.

You can ask your loved ones, your parents, or kids to send Check-in messages every day after returning from walk or school, to know they are safe and good.

How to ask alerts through Ask My Buddy using Alexa 

The following Phrases are generally recommended

“Alexa, Ask My Buddy to Alert Everyone “.

“Alexa, Ask My Buddy to send Help”.

“Alexa ,Ask My Buddy to Check-in with everyone”.

Or you can send personalized messages 

“Alexa, Ask My Buddy to Alert  *****(contact name)”.

“Alexa, Ask My Buddy to Check-in with Contact name”.

2.Medicine Tracker-The Alexa skill for medication

We all know that our elders often forget to take their medications on time.

They may need assistance to remind them at the time when they need to take the medicine.

This Alexa’s skill  helps us in this aspect in offering a tracker service where we can ensure that medications are taken on time. 

Ask “Alexa, remind me to take the BP medication at 10am”.

Alexa  skill sets alarm at 10am

Or ask Alexa remind me for the next dose after 4 hours “, Alexa skill gives alarm for the next medication dose. 

The best thing is,if connected with a pharmacy,Alexa skill helps in sending  a message to the pharmacy for refilling the medicine cabinet once the medicines are completed.

Just ask “Alexa, refill my medications”.

3.iHeartRadio-Free Music and Internet Radio- The Alexa Skill for entertainment

Elders often suffer from boredom when they have to spend time alone.

This Alexa’s skill helps them in killing their boredom and bringing entertainment and news to their everyday life. 

Alexa with this skill offers access to numerous radio stations to choose from.

  • Just open Alexa app.Select skills and games.
  • Check categories,Select enabled skills.
  • If not enabled search for radio skill and enable it.

Millions of tracks and thousands of stations to browse to. The best Alexa skill to enjoy music. 

Once enabling the skill,after choosing your favorite band,you can ask Alexa,

Alexa play Radio USA“, for live streaming from that radio station.

Do you know about Alexa’s skill I’m Bored

Say “Alexa I’m Bored”

Alexa comes out with an interesting fact every time.

Its fun trying.

4.Big Sky-The Alexa skill for weather updates

Elders while leaving out for a walk for fresh air or to meet their friends, may need to know the weather predictions for the day to make themselves ready.

This Alexa’s skill helps them to know about the weather today and the forecast for the coming hours of the day. 

Turn on your location settings for Alexa’s skill  BigSky ,to know about the information about the weather in your location.Try asking if it will rain or not? 

 or about snow?

Or simply know about the temperature.

How to use BigSky Alexa skill for weather updates?

  • Go to Alexa app
  • Search for skills
  • Enable BigSky
  • Go to BigSky create an account for login and password,you have to enter the location for weather forecasts
  • Once enabled ask Alexa to open BigSky

“Alexa, ask BigSky for weather forecast after 3 hours”

“Alexa, Ask BigSky whether it rains tomorrow”.

“Alexa, ask BigSky about the precipitation”.

5.TED Talks- the Alexa skill for inspiration

Some times when our elders feel low, they may love to hear something inspiring.

Listening to renewed speakers and their inspiring stories filled with positive thoughts may lift up their spirits and they will feel relieved and relaxed. 

You can use this skill of Alexa to listen to a particular speaker or a particular topic.

Search for TED Talks in Alexa’s Skills and enable TED Talks.

Use this Alexa’s skill by asking

  “Alexa ask TED Talks to play the latest “.

“Alexa ask TED Talks to find Talks about positive thinking “.

New Talks are available every weekday. 

6.WebMd-The Alexa skill for health

All the doubts regarding the elder’s health and symptoms of their illnesses may be solved with this Alexa skill. 

WebMD is a leading health service linking several customers and health care professionals. 

Now during this COVID time where we can’t take the risk of going out, we can clear our doubts using WebMD Alexa skill.

What can we know with this Alexa skill? 

1.Medicines and their side effects. 

2.How to use the drug, dosage, and frequency. 

3.Symptoms of illnesses, severity levels.

4.Treatments available. 

5.Diet information related to medical conditions.

How does this skill work? 

Physicians or healthcare professionals access the clinical resources and provide better and personalized responses helping the consumers to benefit from their information.

Search for WebMD in Alexa’s skills and click enable.After enabling WebMD Alexa skill,

Ask ” Alexa  open WebMD”.

“Alexa, ask WebMD the symptoms of Corona “.

“Alexa, ask WebMD for side effects of ibuprofen?”.

7.Relaxing sounds: Healing Music-The Alexa skill for peace of mind

Elders often face difficulty going to sleep. It is not recommended to depend heavily on sleeping pills or other medications.

This Alexa’s skill offers relaxing sounds that help elders to find peace in their mind and may further lead them to a deep sleep.

This Alexa’s skill  can be used to fight off stress and to do meditation by  relaxing the mind.

Go to Alexa’s skills and search for Healing Music skill and click enable.Once enabled, you can use this Alexa’s skill by asking,

“Alexa, open Healing Music”

“Alexa, start Healing Music”

This is the best Alexa skill for yoga, meditation, and complete relaxation.

8.Alexa audible app-The Alexa skill for reading books.

For all those elders who face difficulty in reading books due to eye sight issues related to aging, this Alexa’ skill reads books for them.

Use the Alexa app to access Audible

1.Open Alexa app

2.Click Play to access books

3.Select your favorite from the list of books displayed.

4. Alexa starts reading your book.

You can always pause or resume the reading of the Audible book.

You can also move back or forward pages while reading and even switch books also.

9.Vivint.Smart Home Complete-The Alexa skill for the Smart home

Alexa makes our lives simpler and easier with a complete smart home setup.

Don’t worry about the security of the Elders and seniors alone at home, while you are at work.

Vivint offers you many useful services through voice commands. 

Make the best use of this Alexa skill to have a safe and secure life for elders.

once this Alexa’s skill is enabled,you can use this skill with simple commands.Some of the commands are like follows

1.” Alexa turn on the heater”

2.“Alexa, turn down the AC to 24degrees”

3.“Alexa, dim my lights”

4. “Alexa, turn on the living room light”

5.“Alexa, is the garage door open?”

6.“Alexa, what is the state of my security system?”

7.“Alexa, lock  my front door”

8.“Alexa, show me the doorbell camera”.

9.“Alexa, I am going to sleep”

10.“Alexa, are my doors locked?”


10.Smart TV Remote-The Alexa skill to operate TV by voice

Entertainment is a must for elders and seniors.

This Alexa’s skill allows them to just use their voice to watch their favorite programs on television.

Try this Alexa skill by asking

 “Alexa, tell the smart remote to turn on my TV”

“Alexa, tell the smart remote to increase volume by 5”

“Alexa, tell the smart remote to switch to channel 5”

How does it work?

1.First you need to install Smart Tv Remote App.

2.Open Amazon Echo app.

3.Click register

4.Use a code to register and tell Alexa by saying

Alexa tell smart remote to register my phone with code ****

5.Now smart remote is controlled by Alexa

Here is a list of commands you can try with this Alexa’s skill,

1.Turn my TV on.

2.Make my TV off.

3.Increase volume by (number).

4.Decrease volume by (number).

5 Mute my TV.

6.Turn one channel up.

7.Switch to the next lower channel.

8.Show me the channel information.

9.Jump to the previous channel.

10.Show me the TV guide.

11.Start playback.

12.Resume playback.

13.Stop playback.

14.Start to record.

15.Resume recording.

16.Pause recording.

17.Stop recording.

18.Fast forward.

19.Rewind.

20.Pause.

Sources:

1.developer.amazon.com

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