Studies suggest that one in four Americans are using virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to control their smart devices and access the Internet. However, older adults are much less likely to use these handy apps. That’s a shame because they’re missing out on so many features that can make life easier and keep them safe. So what do these digital assistants bring to the table? Why do some seniors struggle, and how can you help them use these programs?
How Can Virtual Assistants Help a Senior?
Virtual assistants work off of voice commands. They can also control smart devices around the home. This means that people with vision impairment, limited mobility, arthritis, or hand tremors can still use these household gadgets. They can adjust the thermostat, play audiobooks and more, without even leaving the couch.
These programs also streamline the smartphone experience. Older users don’t need to remember passwords, hunt through multiple layers of menus, or find the right app in a sea of options. The assistant handles all of this. At a simple request, seniors can video conference with loved ones or learn the score of Sunday’s game.
Virtual assistants also offer future proofing. Technology may continue to get more complicated, but the older user doesn’t need to worry about that. A virtual assistant will upgrade to handle these innovations.
Safety and Medications
Virtual assistants can make life safer for a senior. If your loved one is one of the 36 million seniors a year who fall, the assistant will contact emergency services. It can pull up maps and track locations if your loved one gets lost. These programs also remind older users to take medicine, and even tell the doctor about missed doses.