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I’ve got an aging mother and it has always been a hope to find a technology to help her out. It’s not easy to do, but Amazon has an interesting tech dubbed Alexa Together that could help.
It’s designed for aging people and their remote caregivers. The aim is to use the voice-driven interface of Amazon Alexa to make it easy to find help, to help seniors feel more comfortable and confident living independently, and to give their families peace of mind.
More than 25% of customers using Alexa Together communicate across state lines and 65% across different cities. To bridge the miles, Amazon is announcing today two new Alexa Together features: Circle of Support, which helps the whole family pitch in, and, coming soon, a Remote Assist functionality that allows a primary caregiver to set up Alexa Routines for their aging loved ones one.
With Alexa Together, older users can get comfort knowing their loved ones can easily check in on them through the activity feed in the Alexa app. They also know that if they ever need help, they can reach the Urgent Response emergency helpline at any time of the day — hands free.
Alexa Together customers who provide caregiver support can set up notifications each day when their loved one has their first interaction with Alexa or connected smart home devices. Caregivers can get notified when there is no activity within a certain time, serving as a reminder to call and check in.
With Remote Assist, you can set reminders, add contacts to a contact book to easily call or message, or link a music service.
Circle of Support
With the new Circle of Support feature, the aging loved one can now have up to 10 caregivers pitching in and helping out. Both the person receiving support and the primary caregiver can add additional caregivers, known in the Alexa app as “circle members.”
These circle members can be siblings, cousins, friends, or close neighbors who can stop by to visit in person. Circle members can even include the spouse of the primary caregiver so each spouse receives alerts on their smartphone from her. Circle members get peace of mind through daily alerts and quick check-ins through the activity feed.
Only the primary caregiver can use Remote Assist, if the aging loved one chooses to enable that feature. And both the aging loved one and the primary caregiver can remove any circle member at any time in the Alexa app.
Remote Assist routines
Soon, the Remote Assist functionality, if enabled by the person receiving support, will allow the primary caregiver to remotely set up Alexa Routines to help. Alexa Routines are designed to make customers’ days easier and more productive, grouping together actions they can do with Alexa and bundling them together seamlessly.
For example, if every morning the elder person turns off an alarm, turns on the bedroom light, asks about the weather, and then plays the news, then you will be able to set up a personalized Routine that does all of that automatically, without the person needing to ask Alexa to do each action separately.
Primary caregivers will be able to set up Routines for their loved ones just like they do on their own accounts, like turning on all of the household’s smart lights at sunset or setting up a goodnight Routine where Alexa will turn off smart lights and play sleep sounds . Amazon will automatically send the aging person an email about the newest Routine.
Circle of Support is now available to all Alexa Together customers. New customers can sign up for the subscription service by visiting Amazon.com/AlexaTogether. Either the person providing or receiving support can start the sign-up process, and both customers will need to complete the process to create the relationship. Alexa Together is available as either a monthly or yearly subscription.
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