Alexa for seniors, especially blind or low vision. Worthwhile?

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Have had family member suggest my elderly mom might benefit from having Alexa in home. Main reason because she is legally blind and not able to use Internet, etc. However, she does not have the Internet (and no desire for it at present - actually very resistant to the idea, long story). She has me look up information for her on the Internet A LOT. However, part of this is her wanting information, and part of it is wanting the interaction with me. Most of what I research for her would be beyond Alexa's capabilities. Not sure it would be worth getting Internet (would take persuading) to be able to use what services Alexa might provide. What services do you use, or think an elderly person would use, that would make having Alexa worthwhile? Cost of Internet would not be the main consideration (although a factor), if considerable benefit could be shown.

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My mom is still pretty high functioning, but she doesn't get hungry anymore, or doesn't recognize it and so I call her every day at lunch and remind her to make a sandwich. I make chicken or egg salad for her so it is easy for her to make a sandwich. If I get busy at work and can't call she may or may not remember. Consequently I'm setting up Alexa reminders. This is a fairly new thing Alexa can do (at least I haven't heard of it before) and I'm hoping it will be helpful to her. I am also going to set up reminders to tell her I love her, just to make her smile.
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Reply to 12LittlePaws
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Learn2Cope Aug 24, 2018
This seems a promising feature. Would love to hear updates on how it is working for you and your mom. I am wondering if there would be a way for my mom to have Alexa remind her of things, or make a list that she could somehow use by having it read back to her.
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I have set my Dad's up to remind him to take his medications. He just has one Echo Dot in his apartment, so if he's not near it he may miss the reminder. Usually, we are on the phone for our morning call when Alexa reminds him to take his breakfast meds.

He loves to ask it what the weather is going to be for the day. He has also enjoyed asking it to play certain songs from the 50's. Mostly, Alexa doesn't know much about cars, which is his main interest, but he finds it to be kind of a fun novelty. I haven't set it up to turn the lights on and off, but I think my dad would enjoy that, too.

I'm happy for the medication reminders -- he's better about taking his pills (mostly vitamins and supplements) since I set the reminders up for him.
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Reply to funnymomof3
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My 86 year old father loves his! We have several Echo Dots throughout the house. I added the smart outlets to lamps in his bedroom and the living room, so he only has to speak to turn them on and off. We also put one of the larger ones by his chair in the living room and now he doesn't have to blast theTV in order to hear it. Had to change the code word from Alexa (SNL was right!) to Echo, but that has worked just fine. The intercom feature is wonderful for when he needs something during the night, or in case of a fall.
As for asking it questions, he loves it! You can also ask it to play music, read audio books, etc. As long as you set it up for her and help her get started, she should enjoy it.
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Reply to SLAM1701
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I have this exact scenario with my father who has AMD. It hasn't really worked.

Alexa is weird tech in that it can do so much nothing it's crazy. It's just not there. You also have to think about it like an elderly person, whose never ordered from Amazon, never used a smart phone, maybe never done a Google search, and ask yourself how they can relate to it? My father will ask it a question once, and when it doesn't answer right, he won't try again. I'll ask it multiple times in different ways because I know that's how searching works.

I get the desire for it, and I know it could help, but he lives in a world of wall calendars, flip phones and a TV that's 2' feet away from him that he can barely see. He's not going to get a smart phone, use an app for reminders or listen to podcasts and audio books. Unfortunately, while he's cognitively capable of doing that stuff, he's simply not going to do it.

Unfortunately, I don't have any answers as to how to change that.
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Reply to dontgetthechees
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Lol, Alexa.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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Your mother might have no desire for the internet but she might like some of the things Alexa could provide. Alexa can be used to read books and magazines, or play music, TV shows and movies. Alexa (with a few control units) can turn on/off lights, adjust the thermostat, trigger the panic button on a security system or dial the phone. Alexa can also order stuff from Amazon which can be particularly useful for things you like to repeat order. Amazon usually offers a 30 day return policy on its stuff so I suggest you get a prepaid mifi for internet and purchase an Alexa and a couple of control units and test it out. At the end of 30 days you can return Alexa and probably the mifi too - or get a more permanent internet connection and expand the use if your mother likes it.
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Reply to TNtechie
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If you get internet just get enough gigs to use Alexa.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I don't have any useful answer - but if you need a smile - I highly recommend this Saturday Night Live skit about Alexa:
youtube.com/watch?v=eMwz487yG9I
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Reply to trying42
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cwillie Aug 14, 2018
LOL
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