Alexa can be a great gift for older parents if they’re tech-friendly and would enjoy its features like voice commands for news, music, reminders, and smart home control.
However, consider their comfort with technology and privacy concerns regarding these devices.
These days we are relying more and more on our electronic gadgets to help us through our days and one of the most significant devices to do that are any of Amazon’s Alexa products.
Whether it’s a gift or something you purchase for yourself – I can truly say that they are becoming an important part of any household.
Not only are Amazon’s Alexa devices a good gift for your parents, they are also an excellent gift for families and adult children of elderly parents.
After the initial cost of the device, there’s no other cost for many of it’s great services.
If you are considering gifting an Alexa device to a senior person you do have to ask yourself…
- Are they able to learn how to use it? If you’re not sure, start out with an Echo Dot which is very low cost and start with just a few skills like asking for the weather, playing music, using it as a speaker, etc. Then you’ll be able to see how well it may work for them.
- Do they have Wi-Fi in their home? I do have a friend or two whose parents do not have Wi-Fi in their homes so obviously, any of these voice activated devices would not work for these households.
As long as the answer to these two questions is YES, then I would highly encourage you to give them this really great gift!
I own several Alexa devices and I can honestly say that I use them all multiple times a day, every single day.
So, I would say absolutely, YES, any of the Alexa devices would be a good gift for your parents, your friends, etc.
The reason I say this is simply because of the many different ways that Alexa can be used by you and/or whomever you gift it to. Here are just a few of those ways…
- Create ongoing lists like to do list or grocery list
- Use it as an intercom from room to room
- Use it as a speaker for your TV
- Call others and video chat (with the Echo Show)
- Set up alarms to wake up to, cooking alarms, etc.
- Get updates on news from news stations, podcasts and more
- Use it as a medical alert device
- Call 911 in case of an emergency
- Use it to monitor an elderly parent via the Drop In Skill and/or the Care Hub skill
- Keep up with your calendar
- Create reminders and notifications
- Control lights, television and other devices
- Use it as a burglar deterrent
- Combine it with a camera, like the Blink, for home security
- Play music (and movies with Echo Show)
- Play sleep sounds for better sleep
- Order from restaurants
- Ask questions (answers provided by Bing search engine)
- Play games (I love the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game)
These are just a few of the many ways that I use Alexa in my home and how it can also be used in your home or the home of the person you gift these great devices to.
The Best Way To Set Up Alexa For Elderly Parents
My personal opinion is that I believe older adults should have an Alexa product in every room of the house.
The low prices on the Echo Dot products make that a very doable thing but I will say that the main room of the home (the room your elderly loved one spends the most time in) should have an Echo Show.
The reason I say this is because the Echo Show is equipped with a screen and video camera.
This option allows the seniors in the home to communicate visually with their families AND the Drop In skill available on the Echo Show allows family members to monitor their elderly loved ones.
It’s a win-win situation in my opinion.
Alexa devices are easy to set up – just follow the instructions that come with the device and you should be up and running in just a few minutes.
Check out Alexa’s new Care Hub feature – a new way to remotely monitor elderly relatives.
What Can Alexa Control?
The list of devices that Alexa can control just seems to keep on growing! Just to give you an idea, here’s a list…
- Plugged in lamps (I use this the most so far)
- Other plugged in items like the coffee makers on Amazon
- Fixed lights like overhead lights
- Television (yes, you can turn your TV on and off and also change channels if you have the Fire Stick).
- Door locks for doors with or without dead bolts
- Garage doors
- Alarm systems (I know that SimpliSafe works with Alexa and Alexa works with Google Nest video doorbells)
- Smoke detectors
- Smart thermostats
- Battery operated wall clocks
- Roomba vacuum cleaner (I use this all the time)
- Smart ceiling fans
- Appliances like…
- Ovens and Stoves
- Washer and Dryer
- And so much more coming!
Some items are Alexa equipped like the Echo Wall Clock – basically it has Alexa capability built in to it. Other items require a smart plug that is Alexa equipped so anything you plug into that smart plug can now be controlled via your Alexa app and then of course, your voice.
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