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Can Alexa Give Daily Reminders? Tips For Seniors

Alexa is a wonderful tool for daily reminders!

You can set it up for multiple reminders simply with voice commands which makes it super easy.

You can use reminders if you take medications throughout the day or if you simply need reminders for several events during the day.

There are 3 ways that you can use Alexa to remind you of daily events and/or tasks.

  1. You can set them up on your calendar and then choose the option in the Alexa app to have those calendar events automatically read out to you at the time of the event
  2. You can set up Reminders directly on your Alexa device
  3. You can set up Reminders through the Alexa app on your phone

How To Set Reminders On Alexa?

  • When you set up your calendar you can choose the option to have it give you notifications automatically.
  • OR you simply set up Reminders directly on your Alexa device by saying something like “Alexa, remind me to take my heart medicine at 3 pm every day.”
  • OR you can set this skill up from the Alexa app on your phone
    • Open the Alexa app on your phone
    • Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner (the 3 short horizontal lines)
    • In the dropdown box tap on “Reminders & Alarms”
    • You’ll then see the option to choose from setting up an Alarm, a Reminder and/or Timers
    • Tap on Reminders
    • You’ll then have the option to Add Reminder
    • Once you tap on the plus sign to add your reminder follow the prompts for choosing your time, frequency and which devices to get the reminder announced on.
    • Note: When you choose your frequency you will notice a “Custom” at the bottom of your choices. Select that to make a more customized choice.

Once your reminders are set up, you can also ask “Alexa, what are my reminders?” to get a list of the ones that you have already set up.

Creating Named Timers

I use named timers all the time. It’s so useful when multitasking, such as cooking multiple dishes at once or managing different tasks around the house.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create and manage named timers with Alexa:

How to Create Named Timers with Alexa:

  1. Initiate the Command: Begin by saying the wake word, which is usually “Alexa.
  2. Specify the Timer Name and Duration: After the wake word, instruct Alexa to set a timer with a specific name and duration. For example:
    • Alexa, set a pasta timer for 10 minutes.
    • Alexa, set a laundry timer for 30 minutes.
  3. Confirmation: Alexa will confirm the timer by repeating the name and duration back to you: “Pasta timer for 10 minutes, starting now.

Managing Multiple Timers:

  1. Check Remaining Time: If you want to know how much time is left on a specific timer, ask Alexa by mentioning the timer’s name. For instance:
    • Alexa, how much time is left on the pasta timer?
  2. Pause or Resume a Timer: You can pause or resume any named timer by instructing Alexa:
    • Alexa, pause the laundry timer.
    • Alexa, resume the laundry timer.
  3. Cancel a Timer: If you wish to cancel a timer before it goes off, simply tell Alexa:
    • Alexa, cancel the pasta timer.
  4. List All Timers: If you have multiple timers running and want to get an overview, ask:
    • Alexa, what are my timers?

When the Timer Ends:

  • When the specified duration is over, Alexa will alert you by saying, “Your pasta timer is done,” followed by an alarm sound.
  • To stop the alarm, you can say, “Alexa, stop.

How Do I Set A Daily Reminder On Alexa?

Recurring reminders on Alexa can be set up by all three methods that I mentioned above.

You can set them up hourly, daily, monthly, yearly and there’s even a little wiggle room to customize it even just a bit more.

Daily reminders are excellent to remind seniors of things like…

  • When to take what medication.
  • When to pick up the newspaper on the driveway.
  • When to feed the dog/cat/bird.

These may seem simple for most of us to remember but if your senior loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s – these gentle reminders can he

Can Alexa Do Monthly Reminders?

I had previously written that you could only set up monthly Alexa reminders for specific days of the month (i.e. the 15th of the month as an example) via your calendar but I was incorrect.

One of our great readers contacted me to let me know that this could be done via all three methods that I mentioned above (the calendar, the app and by voice command).

I just set up a monthly reminder for myself and here’s how the conversation went…

  • “Alexa, remind me to give Futon (my cat) his medicine on the 12th of every month.”
  • Alexa responded with “At what time should I remind you?”
  • I responded with “10 AM”
  • Alexa responded with “Okay, I’ll remind you every month on the 12th at 10 AM.”

Can Alexa Remind Me Of Appointments?

Yes – Alexa devices CAN remind you of appointments. 

You can set up your appointments either on your calendar that you have given Alexa access to (i.e. Google Calendar) or you can set up your appointment by asking Alexa to remind you at a certain date and time.

Here are instructions on how to set up your calendar on Alexa.

Okay, so now you have all your reminders set up on Alexa – great!! Now, how does she remind you of them?

Well, this is how it works.

When it’s time to give you a reminder, your Alexa device will do 3 things…

  • it will make a chiming sound
  • it will light up (this is for the Alexa Dot and the Alexa Speaker)
  • it will speak to you telling you about the reminder that you set up
  • if you have the Reminder Notifications set up on your phone then you will also receive a pop-up notification on your phone of that reminder
    • Here’s how you set that up…
    • Open the Alexa app on your phone
    • Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner (the 3 short horizontal lines)
    • In the dropdown box tap on “Settings”
    • Then tap on “Notifications”
    • Then tap on “Reminders” and enable the “Mobile Notifications”

To stop it you simply say “Alexa, stop.”

How To Cancel Alexa Reminders

Okay, this is so easy! You simply say “Alexa, cancel all reminders.” OR “Alexa, cancel the reminder to… (name your specific reminder).”

So, here is an example of how it works on my Alexa.

“Alexa, remind me to turn the oven on in 20 minutes.”

“Alexa, remind me to open the mail tomorrow at 9 am.”

So, let’s say I wanted to cancel my second reminder – I simply said…

“Alexa, cancel the reminder to open the mail.”

You could probably also say, “Alexa, cancel the reminder for 9 am tomorrow.”

And that was that! Pretty easy, right?

Can Alexa Remind Me To Drink Water?

It seems to be quite common that older adults simply do not drink enough water.

You most likely know this feeling of thirst – or even of being parched. But as you age, that sense of thirst diminishes. So even when your body needs to be replenished with water, you might not realize it.

So, using Alexa to remind you throughout the day to drink some water is an excellent tool, especially for older adults that may be dealing with issues of cognitive decline such as dementia.

Again, you can set up these reminders directly on your device, through the app on your phone or through your calendar.

There are a few skills that are intended to help with hydration issues but at this point in time, they don’t seem to have very high ratings so I would recommend to just stick with the reminders.

Can Alexa Remind Me To Take My Medicine?

Yes, of course – just like it can remind you to do anything you set up a reminder for.

Because you can set up multiple reminders throughout each day or multiple days, it’s a perfect tool to help you to remember to take your medication.

The drawback is that if you are away from home and away from your Alexa device, you won’t be alerted.

If you are a customer of Giant Eagle Pharmacy – you can use a new Alexa skill that will not only remind you to take your medication but also refill your prescriptions.

Amazon announced that it has partnered with Giant Eagle Pharmacy locations to provide its customers the option to create medication reminders that will prompt participants to take their medicine at a particular time of the day, or even request prescription refills. Amazon is using Omnicell medication management tools to implement the new feature.

Again, Alexa does have multiple skills having to do with medications – you can see them here.

And you may find one of them useful for you but I do believe that for most older adults just using the reminders will be most helpful.

How Many Times Does Alexa Repeat A Reminder?

Alexa will repeat the reminder twice and as of this writing, there is no option to change that.

Will Reminders Work On Multiple Alexa Devices?

Be aware that the reminders will only work on the device you set them up on.

In other words, if you set up a reminder on your Kitchen Alexa, then you will hear that reminder only from the Kitchen Alexa.

But, you can ask your bedroom Alexa device to set up a reminder in your kitchen Alexa. Simply say something like…

Alexa, set a reminder for laundry on my kitchen Alexa.

If you wanted to set up the same reminder on another device, you would have to set up a separate reminder directly on that device or via the app on your phone.

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