Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.

Episode 30: Is Alexa For Seniors? Home Technology That Will Help You Age In Place

November 03, 2022 Janet Engel, OT/L, CAPS Season 3 Episode 30
Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.
Episode 30: Is Alexa For Seniors? Home Technology That Will Help You Age In Place
Show Notes Transcript

It is amazing how technology can make our lives easier and safer nowadays. Alexa, which is a technology created by amazon, has many features designed to help older adults simplify their lives, improve communication with family members, and even help them establish a medication routine. In my interview with Esther Kane, Co-founder of the website seniorsafetyadvice.com, you will learn about specific features that will help you or your loved one age in place.


Alexa Devices
Amazon Echo show 8
Amazon Echo Show 10
Amazon Echo Show 5
Amazon Echo 10
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock Smart Feature

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[00:00:00] Janet: And today we have Esther Kane with us again. She is the co-founder of the website, senior safety advice.com, and she writes all about senior safety advice for caregivers. and basically how people can age at home safely and age in place. So Esther, thank you again for being on my show. 

[00:00:28] Esther Kane: Oh, thanks for having me again.

[00:00:30] Esther Kane: This is awesome, . 

[00:00:33] Janet: So, today we are going to talk about one of your articles. Mm-hmm. that is titled is an Alexa for senior. 30 skills for older adults. So I'm dying to learn what Alexa can do for older adults and really for all of us, because I didn't know it was 30 things. 

[00:00:54] Esther Kane: So . Well there's actually, if I remember correctly, there's [00:01:00] actually over a million skills that Alexa does.

[00:01:03] Esther Kane: I mean, not to say that all of them would be app. A lot of them are just fun skills kind of thing. And, and by a skill, I mean a feature Okay. The thing that it, that the Alexa unit, the, the device does. So but there are specific skills that I always thought would be very appropriate and helpful, not only for older adults, cuz I mean, I use Alexa all the time and.

[00:01:31] Esther Kane: An older adult but also for family caregivers of older adults. So, but before I, we get into the skills, I just wanted to mention that there are two different kinds of Alexa devices. One is just the speaker unit it's just this little round thing or a tower or, and, and it, it doesn't have a screen or anything.

[00:01:53] Esther Kane: It's just looks like a speaker, like a little. , but then there's the other one, the Echo Show, [00:02:00] which is the same thing. It, it does everything that the speaker does, except it has a screen. It almost looks like a tablet on a stand, like a computer tablet. So the reason that I wanted to mention those two is because the Echo show, the one with the screen can do a few more things that, that the, the other one cannot do, only because it has.

[00:02:25] Esther Kane: That viewable tablet on it. So I wanted mention that just as there were two kinds. Thanks 

[00:02:32] Janet: for telling us, because I didn't know until you mentioned it, that there was a different type of Alexa Mm mm-hmm. one that had a screen. Mm-hmm. . So, so yeah. So let's go into your article. I have it pulled.

[00:02:45] Janet: And so you have do you have to pay for Amazon Alexa? Is it really free to use? So, that's a great 

[00:02:54] Esther Kane: question, . Yeah, it, it is. As long as you're paying for [00:03:00] wifi in your home, If you have wifi then you don't have to pay anything for Alexa except to buy the unit itself. So once you've purchased it, you just plug it.

[00:03:12] Esther Kane: And you don't have to plug it into anything special, just plug it in and it will actually talk you through the setup process. So and that's it. It connects to your wifi internet and there's no cost. Now, some of the skills that are on there, you do pay for some of them. One skill that I think is real important for everyone.

[00:03:35] Esther Kane: But especially seniors, it's called Alert A Buddy. Mm-hmm. . And what I like about that particular skill, now there is a free version and then there is a paid version. The paid version is $3 and 66 cents a month. Mm-hmm. , so it's not very much, but what the alert a buddy skill does is if you were to fall or something were to happen.

[00:03:58] Esther Kane: Mm-hmm. , you could just say, [00:04:00] Alexa alert a. And what it will do, then it will contact the five people that you've already put on your alert buddy list. When you go into register, you put in these five people, your daughter, your son, next door, neighbor, whatever. Mm-hmm. , and it'll call them and it will I text them.

[00:04:21] Esther Kane: I'm not sure if it will email them, but it will alert all of these five people that, that something is wrong at. Something is wrong with you. So if you pay the $3 and 66 cents a month, you can also use the alert buddy to call 9 1 1. Okay? 

[00:04:40] Janet: And that's a great creature. Now, Alexa has to be placed in a location where it 

[00:04:46] Esther Kane: can hear you, right?

[00:04:48] Esther Kane: Yeah. That's why for older adults, I always recommend that there's an Alexa device in every room, okay? Because then no matter where you are, You can hear you and you don't have [00:05:00] to scream, mm-hmm. , I have my one Alexa device in the kitchen and in from my living room, which is maybe 30 feet, 40 feet distance.

[00:05:12] Esther Kane: Mm-hmm. . It's an open kitchen. I can just sit in my sofa and just say Alexa, turn on the light in, in my normal voice, and it will hear me. Mm-hmm. , So it has a very good microphone. That it can hear that. So, but yeah, I think having that alert a buddy is, is great. Even if, even if someone were to break into your home, know? mm-hmm. , if you were scared, you could say, alert a buddy, and all five people would be notified or call 9 1 1 and they would be notified to immediately come to your. Yeah, 

[00:05:46] Janet: that's a great feature. And it's only 

[00:05:49] Esther Kane: $3, you said a month? 360 6 a month. Wow. Yeah, so I think that that's such a good feature for, for everyone really, but certainly mostly for [00:06:00] older adults.

[00:06:01] Esther Kane: Another feature that I think is so amazing is the drop in skill. Mm-hmm. . Now with the drop in skill, you need the Echo show, the one with a screen and the way that works. Two parties or more, you can do more. More than two have to have that echo show. So let's say you were caring for your mother who lived in Virginia.

[00:06:23] Esther Kane: Mm-hmm. . And you live here in Georgia. So she has an echo show. You have an echo show and you once you set hers up and set yours up, cuz obviously she has to give you permission to do it. You can just talk to your Alexa and say drop in on. Mm. And it will then turn on her Echo, show her video, and you'll be able to see where that echo show is pointed to.

[00:06:51] Esther Kane: Mm. So if your mother was a fall risk mm-hmm. , you could put the echo show in the kitchen to make sure she's not on the [00:07:00] floor. If you're calling and she's not answering, and you could put it in the living room, you could put it wherever. And you can see if she's. Mm. So some people feel like, Oh, it's an invasion of privacy, but it's supposed to be, it's meant to be used amongst family members to check on each other to make sure that they're okay.

[00:07:25] Esther Kane: That's the perfect of it. Right. 

[00:07:28] Janet: And then is it also like just to help with communication so that people can see each other's face? 

[00:07:35] Esther Kane: Yeah, I mean, you can do video chat. Yeah. You can use any Alexa device to make a phone call. Hands free phone call. You can just say, Alexa, call Janet and it'll call Janet.

[00:07:45] Esther Kane: You put in your contact list and it'll, it'll call Janet. You can speak to her. But if you have the Echo show then, and she has an echo show, then you can do, It's like FaceTime. Mm-hmm. . You can do FaceTime right there on [00:08:00] on that. 

[00:08:01] Janet: Right. Right. That's great. And it's a much larger device than a phone.

[00:08:07] Esther Kane: It is, right. Much ponder than a phone. So it's much easier for someone who's older now. They have a 15 inch at that you can hang on the wall. So it's like a little mini TV almost. It, and it doesn't cost anything. Those skills don't cost anything. How much does 

[00:08:25] Janet: it echo? How about the Echo Show?

[00:08:28] Janet: What's the cost 

[00:08:29] Esther Kane: of that device? It depends on what echo show you purchase. So there are different sizes. I always recommend the larger one because it's much easier to to see than the smaller ones. But the smaller ones can be as small as $35. Oh, okay. Yeah. The the large one, the 15 inch lunch is, is 250.

[00:08:54] Esther Kain: Mm, so it's not exorbitant. I, I've, there's a 10 [00:09:00] inch one that I recommend that usually seniors. That's what I have. I have a 10 inch one, and that's a hundred and something I can't recall, but it's, it's for, for all the things that it. It's a good place instead of getting all these multiple things right.

[00:09:17] Esther Kain: And 

[00:09:18] Janet: much bigger than 

[00:09:18] Esther Kain: a phone. Yeah. Much bigger . Another thing that I, another skill that I recommend for seniors is the speaker. I don't know about you, but you know, my late husband had hearing problems and so the TV was after year after year it would get louder and louder. Yeah. Louder.

[00:09:38] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. . And it got to the point where I got him a headset. So that he could hear the TV and I wasn't going deaf from the loud tv. Right. But if you don't want to do that, if you don't, if it's uncomfortable, you don't wanna wear the headset, you can simply just put an Alexa speaker. Near you behind you or or near your chair wherever you [00:10:00] sit.

[00:10:00] Esther Kain: And you can connect it to your television set and the television. Then you will hear that the sound from the television coming out of that speaker, which is much closer than 

[00:10:12] Janet: the television. Yeah. Yeah. So I've talked about that before where you. Modify the acoustics in the home. Mm-hmm. so that you're not having to raise the volume of, let's say the television, and then affect everyone else in the household, 

[00:10:26] Esther Kain: or 

[00:10:27] Janet: Because it's, it's too much

[00:10:30] Janet: Right. And then it, and then another example is where maybe you're not hard of hearing, but like, you, you have a, a house that's open concept. And many of the homes that you know they've been building for the last 20 years are open concept. And so if you have your television in your living room and you're in the kitchen cooking, it's harder to hear.

[00:10:55] Janet: And so you have to turn up the volume. Mm-hmm. , and then it [00:11:00] affects. Everyone in the house, but if you had speakers set up, let's say in your kitchen, then you wouldn't have to turn up the volume and so that people that are in another part of the home aren't going to be annoyed by the 

[00:11:14] Esther Kain: volume of the television.

[00:11:17] Esther Kain: Exactly. Exactly. So that one little. You could use it as a telephone sitting next to your recliners, you're watching tv. You can use it as a speaker you can use it to get news and weather. You can use it to listen to podcasts or audiobook make phone calls and it's, I I love that there's so many things that can come out at this one little thing.

[00:11:42] Janet: Hmm. Something else I love that you have in the article is the sleep sounds for seniors, right? That was another thing I didn't know that Alexa did. Yeah. So you don't have to 

[00:11:52] Esther Kain: buy a white noise machine? No. I use mine every night. I have one in the bedroom and I use that every night for a heavy rain sound, [00:12:00] and all I have to say is Alexa play heavy rain and it'll, it'll do that.

[00:12:04] Esther Kain: Obviously you can get any pretty much any sound, any of. Soft sounds that they use for sleep. But yeah, it's all from that one u and that one unit will tell me the news in the morning. It will tell me it, it does the sleep sounds. It's also my alarm. It's my clock. Mm. It's, it's, it's everything all in one little thing.

[00:12:27] Esther Kain: Takes up a lot less space on. Nightstand. You can set up routines. They have these routines that you can set up. So you wake up in the morning and you can say, Alexa, good morning. And then it begins, its routine, whatever routine you set up. So my routine is, it starts off by telling me the. Mm. And then it gives me some brief news headlines and then it plays John Denver

[00:12:58] Esther Kain: I love John Denver. [00:13:00] That's a great way to start the morning . That's right. So so I have all three, but all I have to do is say, Alexa, good morning. And then you can do the same thing at night. You can say, Alexa, goodnight, or whatever routine you want to set up, and whatever command you wanna give it.

[00:13:18] Esther Kain: As soon as you give that command, it will, it will go through the steps of the routine that you set up. and it can remind you when to take a pill. You can say, Alexa, remind me at three o'clock to take a pill. Mm-hmm. . Alexa, remind me every day at three o'clock to take a pill. Mm-hmm. or Alexa, remind me every Thursday to wash the dog whatever.

[00:13:40] Esther Kain: And it will just turn on and, and tell you so, Or maybe lock your 

[00:13:45] Janet: doors, for example. 

[00:13:47] Esther Kain: Routine at night? Yes. Did you lock the doors? 

[00:13:51] Janet: Cuz I, I don't always 

[00:13:52] Esther Kain: remember to do that. So , right. And if you can, if you hook up your Alexa to Smart Home [00:14:00] locks, then you can just ask it to do it. You don't have to go back downstairs or outside to do it.

[00:14:06] Esther Kain: It will just. I can do it. And 

[00:14:09] Janet: you can do that 

[00:14:10] Esther Kain: with the lights as well? Yeah. Wow. With the lights, I, I have Alexa that controls my television. Mm-hmm. and it, so if I'm in the kitchen cooking, I can just say Alexa turn on the Good Cop on Fire tv and it will turn on that show. So my hands are messy, making a salad or whatever.

[00:14:30] Esther Kain: I don't have to stop and go do that. Mm-hmm. . And we'll just do that Alexa, turn on the light. I can, I do it on a timer so that it turns on the light automatically every night and then turns it off. At a certain time.  Yeah, you just get so mm-hmm. 

[00:14:42] Janet: so you don't have to ask Alexa to turn 

[00:14:45] Esther Kain: on the light.

[00:14:46] Esther Kain: No, I have it on a time. It, it's, I have Alexa set it up on a timer. So you see that is a put a light on every day, every night at six o'clock whatever. So that is a great safety feature for aging. Because,[00:15:00] Yeah. I've said it in other episodes, is that most homes are under lit. Mm-hmm. . And one of the biggest reasons why people fall is, or yeah.

[00:15:09] Janet: Is poor lighting. Right. And so if you can, if you have that where you have automatic. lighting where you don't have to remember or recognize that now the light is too poor mm-hmm. for you to be able to see in safely. Mm-hmm. and it just turns on, especially when the, when we have the time change in the fall where it gets darker depending on where you live in the country.

[00:15:34] Janet: I used to live in Colorado at four 30. It was already night. Right. You That's crazy, but it's the truth. And so if the lights were, let's say, to turn on like around four o'clock, then that would be much safer when I was going up the stairs. Mm-hmm. or walking down the hallway. Mm-hmm. . So that's a fantastic feature and you don't have to pay

[00:15:59] Janet: [00:16:00] extra. You can do that on the regular 

[00:16:02] Esther Kain: Alexa? Yeah. You do that on regular Alexa. All you have to do is you have to buy, you do have to buy an additional thing. It's a, a plug, a smart plug that you plug into your regular socket. And then you, you have, you use the phone app that comes with that plug and you just set it up and it connects wifi to it connects via to your Alexa via wifi.

[00:16:24] Esther Kain: Oh, and that's that. . Okay. Wow. Yeah, it, they're very inexpensive tools. All of these, all the Alexa things are very inexpensive. A new thing that Alexa came out with, and I'm curious to see how it progresses, is called Alexa together. Okay? So the way that works is it's mon, it's also monitoring your senior loved one, but without video.

[00:16:51] Esther Kain: So what it does is, , and it's really only useful if you're, if the elderly person uses Alexa. Mm-hmm. . So let's [00:17:00] say I'm being monitored. My, my niece is gonna be monitoring me when I'm 80 years old, , let's say. Mm-hmm. , hopefully he'll be that long. And so she knows I all, I have my routine in the morning.

[00:17:14] Esther Kain: And I say, Good morning, Alexa. And it does the thing. And then later on maybe I, I use Alexa to turn on the alarm for my house. I, I use Alexa to turn on the light or the TV or whatever. Mm-hmm. . So Alexa will remember all these routines. know, Okay. We looks at like a pattern, like, okay, Esther gets up in the morning, usually between eight and nine.

[00:17:39] Esther Kain: Okay, And, and then she does this, and then she does that. So my niece will be able to check in on me and look to see that I am doing these things. Mm. She doesn't know where I'm going with Alexa she doesn't know that I'm watching a certain show or listening to Josh Groin or anything like that.

[00:17:59] Esther Kain: [00:18:00] Mm-hmm. , she's just, she just knows that I'm activating it. So if she were to check her Alexa account and see that I haven't activated it, and it's 10:00 AM mm-hmm. , then it can alert her. It will alert her and say something is wrong. She's not doing her usual pattern. Oh wow. So it's a good way to check on someone if they all of a sudden aren't cuz you don't know anything could happen.

[00:18:28] Esther Kain: Well, I know 

[00:18:28] Janet: quickly, like I can give you an example of one of my husband's friends that. , his mother and her sister used to talk on the telephone several times a day. And, and so one of the times her sister called her and she didn't answer and she knew that was not right. And finally they went to go see her and I think it had been like maybe two or two days, and they found her in the elevator on the [00:19:00] floor.

[00:19:00] Janet: She had had a stroke. And she couldn't get up. Mm. And so she  it was a, a medical emergency at that point cuz she had been laying there for two days. But if someone had had something like this, it would've realized in just a few hours, maybe two, two to four hours. Something had changed 

[00:19:23] Esther Kain: in, in your environment, Right.

[00:19:25] Esther Kain: The routine had changed. So that one, the Alexa together, it is a fee, it's $1999 a month, or if you buy in a year, it's $199. But it's gonna be interesting to see how that device evolves cuz I think that they're now working with another. . Alexa's now working with another company where they join together and it, it will be a fall detection.

[00:19:52] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. . And so it will detect if you fall. Okay. So then that means that it sends out it, it will notice if, if you're walking in the living room and you [00:20:00] fall. Oh, 

[00:20:01] Janet: and, and do you know? The person will be wearing something or it's just something in the environment that picks up changes. 

[00:20:12] Esther Kain: Yeah. I dunno.

[00:20:13] Esther Kain: Cause I know that there are wall mounted devices mm-hmm that you can put on the wall that will detect falls. The person doesn't have to wear anything. I know that there are there are a ceiling lights. Fixtures that also do the same thing that detect falls. So I don't know if what Alexa together is going to have but it, it's gonna be fascinating to see how it will evolve.

[00:20:41] Janet: Yeah. Okay. Well, let's talk about the Nest. You have a question here. Does Nest doorbell 

[00:20:50] Esther Kain: work with Alexa? Yes. 

[00:20:53] Janet: Well first tell people what a Nest 

[00:20:55] Esther Kain: doorbell is. Well, it's just a smart doorbell that [00:21:00] has I think they all have video capabilities in Nest. Mm-hmm. , I don't think any of them don't. Right. So, yeah.

[00:21:06] Esther Kain: So you can use your smartphone. To actually just log in to your Nest doorbell, and then you'll be able to see what the camera is pointed out at, which is of course, your front yard or backyard, wherever you have doorbell. But it, you can also talk through it, but you can program and you can change any settings on your Nest doorbell with, with Alexa.

[00:21:33] Esther Kain: Yeah. 

[00:21:34] Janet: Okay. That, and that's a great security feature, especially because most people that are aging in place are women. So, And living alone. And living 

[00:21:43] Esther Kain: alone. Exactly. That's right. I mean, it and, and it, it's excellent for when you're away, cause if you're away at lunch with friends or whatever, and someone brings your door, Your phone will notify you that someone is at your door.

[00:21:57] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. . And then you can just go onto that [00:22:00] app on your phone and speak to the person at your door. 

[00:22:04] Janet: Right. Which is 

[00:22:05] Esther Kain: amazing. . I know. It's a little scary, but It is. It is amazing. Technology is really, it's evolving at such an exponential rate. It's gonna be fascinating really, to see what the next 10. Our go is going to bring.

[00:22:22] Janet: I agree. So what about this? You have Alexa hunches guessing what you 

[00:22:28] Esther Kain: want or need. Yeah. So the hunches was sort of the precursor to Alexa together, because now Alexa together is I checking your. Of what you do, your routine in the morning, you turn on the TV at such and such time, so on. So Alexa hunches is, was sort of like trying to guess what you want or need before you even ask.

[00:22:58] Esther Kain: So that's really creepy [00:23:00] because then it will come out and say I use my Alexa for Alexa. Is is from Amazon? It's an Amazon product. Mm-hmm. So I use my Alexa to do a lot of shopping with Amazon. I get a lot of things from Amazon cuz it's much easier than carrying so many groceries in the home. Mm-hmm. to get things delivered and to get them delivered on a schedule.

[00:23:24] Esther Kain: So that's what I like about Amazon shopping mostly. But Alexa will now tell me it will just turn on and it will say, Esther, we noticed that two weeks ago you purchased such and such. It may be time to buy another, Would you like to buy another? And you can say, can say yes, no, whatever you want.

[00:23:44] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. So, 

[00:23:47] Janet: and so you mentioned Alexa and now there's also the Google Home, so that's another device that people can purchase is, So tell us about that. 

[00:23:57] Esther Kain: Yeah. I also have a Google Home cause I [00:24:00] wanted to see what the difference was between the two of them and how each function Google. Is attached to Google, obviously.

[00:24:08] Esther Kain: So what Google Home does better than Alexa is Google Home answers your questions. Better. Mm-hmm. it, it answers your questions more appropriately and it has answers to more questions than Alexa because Alexa doesn't use the, the Google search engine. It uses the Bing search engine, which is Microsoft.

[00:24:32] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. and it's not as comprehensive as ho. So I actually have a YouTube video where I'm in front of both devices and I ask Alexa a question. And it says something like, I don't know how to answer that. Mm-hmm. , And then I ans I asked Google the exact same question and it answered it correctly. Mm-hmm. And I did that with two other questions.

[00:24:54] Esther Kain: So the benefit of Google Home is that it can give you appropriate [00:25:00] correct answers to a lot more than Alexa, although you still can a ask Alexa some things. Most of the time I get that, it, it can't tell me the, the answer, but where Alexa excels are in all these skills. Mm-hmm. , Google Home has some skills like you can use the alert a buddy with Google Home as well.

[00:25:23] Esther Kain: It's not just an Alexa skill, but it doesn't have as many skills. Nowhere near as many skills as Alexa does. So that's the benefit of, that's the, the biggest difference between one over the other, but they're both basically the same. They both have speaker devices. They both have devices with screens.

[00:25:46] Esther Kain: But I do prefer Alexa for all the skills that it has. But if you have a child who's doing homework and they need to use a device to have questions answered. I would, I would use Google Home. [00:26:00] 

[00:26:00] Janet: Oh, okay. Cuz I hear my son asking math questions to 

[00:26:04] Esther Kain: Alexa . Yeah. They all do that. I hear that from all my friends that have children.

[00:26:10] Esther Kain: They all, they're replacing the parent. Thanks God for those, those who can't do math because Yeah, that's a big help. It's but yeah, he'll get more, you'll get better as he gets older. He'll, he'll probably need Google Home to give him better answers. Okay. . 

[00:26:27] Janet: All right. Well what about Alexa for adults who are visually 

[00:26:33] Esther Kain: impaired?

[00:26:35] Esther Kain: Yeah, so Alexa came out with this really cool. Tool on the Echo Show, and basically what it does, so obviously you've got the screen, so you can take an object like a right now it's for, for items like cans and medicine bottles, things like that. Boxes. Mm-hmm. fruit boxes, things like that.

[00:26:58] Esther Kain: You can take the [00:27:00] item and you can place it in front of the screen. Mm-hmm. and you can say, Alexa, what am I holding? and it will read what's on the label and I can hear my Alexa turning on and it will read the label and tell you. So if someone has low vision visually impaired somehow, or even blind, they'll be able to tell the difference whether it's a can of chicken soup or a can of tomato.

[00:27:24] Esther Kain: Whether it's a bottle of bear aspirin or Anole bottle, although they could probably tell by the shape of the bottle, but still, you get the idea that it will tell you what the object is now. Right. How that's going to expand. I, I don't know. Is it gonna be able to tell you this is a stripe shirt and this is a pledge shirt?

[00:27:45] Esther Kain: I, I don't know if it's gonna expand to that kind of capability. Mm-hmm. , But I, I think that that's an amazing. That is 

[00:27:53] Janet: an amazing 

[00:27:53] Esther Kain: tool. Yeah. I have a YouTube video on that as well. Mm-hmm. . Cause I had to play with it. [00:28:00] It 


[00:28:00] Janet: so cool. Yeah. Especially for reading medication labels and Right. . Yeah, that's fantastic.

[00:28:08] Janet: So you have  one here, one question saying, is Alexa a good gift for seniors? And I would say a resounding 

[00:28:15] Esther Kain: yes. . Yeah. I think it's a great gift. I think it, I think most every adult child who is caring for an elderly. Even if they're not quite so elderly as of yet, Uhhuh to help them get used to it used to using this device.

[00:28:31] Esther Kain: Cuz I think that's the biggest hurdle. Mm-hmm. is becoming accustomed to using it. Yeah. And so the sooner you can have it in your home, the better. So I, I personally think every. Adult child should have an echo show and then their parents should have an echo show. Mm-hmm. that way, not only can you do video chats, but as time goes on, you can do the drop in skill and if their vision gets impaired, they can use the the show me device skill.[00:29:00] 

[00:29:00] Esther Kain: I, I just think it's a. We, we, my mom-in-law is currently a hundred years old. Wow. And when she was, I think 95, we got her an Alexa tool. But obviously it's not that easy for her to use. She forgets about it. It is not in her custom Mary routine to use those things. Mm-hmm. . So we were initially trying to teach her how to use it.

[00:29:26] Esther Kain: And she loves music, she loves to sing, and. So we told her, said, Just say, Alexa, play something whatever song, name the song that you wanted to play. And she did. She did that. I'm on the phone with her and she mm-hmm. does, and because she's hard of hearing, she had it on very loud. So it started playing the song, but it wasn't the same version that she wanted from a particular,

[00:29:55] Esther Kain: So then she wanted it to stop. So I said, just say, Alexa, stop. [00:30:00] Mm-hmm. . And she kept yelling it to stop just saying the word stop. And I said, No, you have to say, Alexa, stop. And then she started yelling, Shut up, trying to get quiet. I said, You.

[00:30:15] Esther Kain: I said, put the phone next to it and I'll tell it to stop . So it's just a matter of getting used to it Once you're, once you use, I use mine multiple times every single day. Mm-hmm. . And so I'm used to it now. Mm-hmm. . But it, it takes a while. So I say the sooner the better. So, Yeah. But Christmas is coming.

[00:30:38] Esther Kain: Get them Alexa devices. And another benefit that I think is great if older adults live in a large home if you have an Alexa device in the garage. And Alexa devices in the kitchen. Mm-hmm. let's say for lunchtime, let's say the, the husband or wife is in the garage and the other one is in the kitchen.

[00:30:57] Esther Kain: If lunch is done, you don't have to [00:31:00] scream at the top of your lungs or walk over to the garage. Mm-hmm. use it as an intercom and drop in on the garage, Alexa and saying, Honey, lunch is ready, or whatever you wanna. . 

[00:31:12] Janet: Right. So would you recommend that a person purchase the Echo show and place that in one room and then the echo.in the rest of the rooms?

[00:31:25] Esther Kain: Yeah, that would be, that's a great way to start. I mean, that, that's how I have it set up. I have echo dots throughout the house, and then I have one echo show  in, in the kitchen area. Okay. But that's a great way to. And get used to it and start using it. So, yeah. Yeah. 

[00:31:40] Janet: I'm gonna look into getting that echo show cause I didn't even know that 

[00:31:43] Esther Kain: existed.

[00:31:44] Esther Kain: Oh yeah. I just, I just love that gadget. It's, I, I think, and as a safety tool, it's amazing. There's even a burglar alert on there so that you can turn it. And if it hears the sound of glass breaking, [00:32:00] like someone comes through your window mm-hmm. , it will set off an alarm. Mm-hmm. and it will alert you because obviously you, you have the app on your phone and it will alert you.

[00:32:10] Esther Kain: Mm-hmm. so, so, so many things that you can do for free and they keep coming out with new skills every single day. So it's difficult to keep. So I'm constantly writing, writing new articles on new Alexa skills. Yes. 

[00:32:26] Janet: Yes. And then we'll have to have you on here again to talk about Alexa skills in 2023.

[00:32:33] Esther Kain: Yeah. I can't wait to see what it comes out there, although I'm still waiting for Rosie the Robot. That's my  that's my number one robotic toy that I want. Rosie Robot. A Rosie. I 

[00:32:45] Janet: want 

[00:32:46] Esther Kain: a robot that cleans my. That's Rosie the robot. Okay. Clean. It's from the, it's from the cartoon. The Jetsons. The Jetsons.

[00:32:55] Esther Kain: Yeah. Rosie the robot will clean, She'll run errands for you. She'll cook. [00:33:00] Yeah, she made robot. That's 

[00:33:04] Janet: the one I want. So I just wanted to tell our listeners that we are going to be participating in. Education with a network in Spanish. Mm-hmm. , This will be in March, and we are going to be talking about all of the things that Alexa, that the Alexa device can do for people, but especially for older adults.

[00:33:28] Janet: So we will be mentioning more about that in the coming weeks. But thank you so much for being with us again, Esther. This was so much 

[00:33:39] Esther Kain: fun. Oh, thank you so much for letting me geek out. And talk about my favorite little toy. Yeah. 

[00:33:47] Janet: So anytime you wanna talk about something else, any one of your articles that you wanna delve into, which I know this is, and this is why I love the podcast format, is because you can talk and you can be yourself, and you can be [00:34:00] natural and your personality comes out as opposed to reading words on paper.

[00:34:06] Janet: Right. , it's a great way to add life to your articles and then give all these little tidbits that you wouldn't normally include in the article. 

[00:34:16] Esther Kain: That's true. It's true. It is very different hearing. So that's one of the reasons why we started the YouTube channel as well. Mm-hmm. , because obviously all this information is, can be very personal and, and some of it private and.

[00:34:32] Esther Kain: You have to trust where the information is coming from. Mm-hmm. . And we were hoping that, I mean, we can have all the certificates in the world to show that we have the knowledge base, but if people don't trust you mm-hmm. it's not gonna make any difference. And so obviously we can't connect with people all over the world.

[00:34:49] Esther Kain: We'd love to shake hands with everybody and get to meet them. It, it's impossible. So with the YouTube channel, we were hoping to be able to connect [00:35:00] with people in that way. Mm-hmm. . So, But yeah, the podcast is definitely another way to do that. So I'm very grateful that you have this podcast, and thank you so much for inviting me.

[00:35:09] Janet: Yes. Thank you for coming on again. Mm-hmm. .