Although it seems like a while ago, there was a time when Siri couldn’t understand a thing we said, and voice assistants seemed like a passing silicon valley fad. Amazon’s Alexa would call the wrong person, play the wrong song, and give you directions to the McDonalds in two states over. Over the years, however, our smartphone assistants have considerably improved in capability and listening skills. Through the power of machine learning, Siri and other voice assistants have improved their answers and honed in on their directions.
With so many powerful advancements in the capabilities of speech recognition and machine learning, the world has quickly adopted voice assistants into daily life, providing homes and cars with extra convenience and assistance. Seniors are finding that these types of technologies can provide an extremely beneficial element in their lives. Brands such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have created personas for voice assistants that are changing the way we interact with technology and information. We can schedule meetings, book vacations, and make dinner reservations without lifting a finger.
Assistance To Seniors
Voice-enabled assistants are already making a big difference in the lives of seniors. Screen-less technology is making it easier for seniors with sight and mobility issues or conditions like arthritis to get daily tasks accomplished. Chat-bots are available to help answer questions and provide advice 24/7, and voice controlled devices have the potential to be used in nursing homes and senior communities to give the seniors directions and answering questions. With tools like this every room, seniors would be able to open drawers, fold clothes, and turn on the TV without straining themselves or needing help.
One recent invention in this field is ElliQ, an A.I., digital companion that helps to keep seniors active and connected with friends. ElliQ utilizes video games, online chat, and social media to help seniors to stay connected. Unlike a regular online program, ElliQ takes an active approach by recommending that seniors receive a walk, attend a show or play, and contacts family members to have them check in. ElliQ also incorporates emotive technology to learn the behavior, preferences, and personality of the user.
It may seem like strange new technology, but research is showing that older adults are open and receptive to getting help from robots. We’ll need to create better battery technology, and artificial intelligence before this type of technology indeed becomes transformative. We’re still a long way from the imagined help of robots like HAL and Rosie from the Jetsons, but this type of technology is growing every day, and even if they can help out in small ways, it’s worth the investment.
Part of the efforts that these technologies go towards is helping seniors stay independent for longer. In some communities, researchers are looking into whether reciting Shakespeare with a robot could help increase engagement and lessen the symptoms of depression in seniors. For one hour a week, residents work with a robot that can walk, shake hands, do tai chi and tell stories. The robot recites the first 12 lines of a sonnet and then asks seniors to recite the last two lines. According to the research, seniors who interacted with the robot on a daily basis reported significant decreases in depression and increased engagement in their community. Companion robots could be implemented in retirement homes around the nation, offering services and companionship for senior residents.
Virtual assistants and robots could quickly begin to help senior citizens soon with things like taking pills, briefing them on daily schedules, and answering questions. They could also be available for medical emergencies, alerting medical personnel if the resident falls, stops responding, or asks for help. Residents with memory loss could interact with the robot and discuss their favorite stories or get reminders for upcoming appointments. Robotic assistants can become full-time wellness coaches that help seniors stick to diets, take their medications, and drink enough water during the day.
Modern vehicles are now coming fully equipped with the kinds of amenities and voice-assisted technologies that make senior’s lives far more comfortable. While there are undeniably physical and mental changes that occur during the aging process that could affect the ability of someone to drive, there have also been technological advances that make driving safer with each year. These advances include voice assistants, parking assistants, and more senior-friendly seating that all go towards to improving the overall driving conditions for seniors. If you’re looking to invest in a new car for your senior, then follow these tips to find the most senior-friendly car features on the market today.
If you’re looking for more senior living blogs and resources, make sure to read our informative blogs every week. They will provide answers to many senior living topics. If your thinking it may be time for your loved one to move into one of the best active retirement communities, Landmark Senior Living is the place for you. People. Passion. Purpose. That’s our mantra, and we live by it every day.