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7 Reasons You Might Want a Smart Speaker if You Live Alone

From companionship to convenience

While living alone has its pleasures, it has its downsides, too. That’s why many older adults who live alone are using voice-activated smart speakers to make their lives a bit easier — and to stay more connected with friends and family in the process. (If you’re not sure how smart speakers work, you can read more about them.)

Because the devices are hands-free and respond to voice commands, they’re a great choice for older adults who don’t have computers or have vision or mobility restrictions. Instead of typing on a computer or tapping on a screen to get information, you can simply ask Alexa or Google — the digital assistants that operate on the smart speaker — to tell you the answer to your questions or perform tasks for you.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are all sorts of ways you can benefit from having a smart speaker.

We’ve outlined the top reasons to consider getting one below.

Connect with
loved ones

Dislike holding the phone to your ear to make a phone call? You can place calls and answer them quickly and easily using a smart speaker. No wonder staying in touch with friends and family, especially kids and grandkids, is one of the most popular ways older adults use voice-activated tech.

Hear automatic reminders

Setting reminders is one of a voice assistant’s simplest features, but it is also one of its most powerful. You can ask your smart speakers to set reminders for all sorts of things, from taking your medication to watering the plants to calling a friend to reconnect.

Find entertainment easily

Smart speakers let you play almost any kind of music you want, anytime, with a simple voice command. In addition, you can listen to audiobooks, play games, or ask Alexa or Google to tell you a joke. There are also lots of funny “Easter egg” questions you can ask.

You: “Alexa, open the pod bay doors.”
Alexa: “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. I’m not Hal and we’re not in space.”

You: “Alexa, who you gonna call?”
Alexa: “Ghostbusters!”

You: “Alexa, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
Alexa: “I think the sound of it is way more precocious than atrocious.”

Have someone
to talk to

While these devices aren’t human, they have features that make it feel like you have a companion and can help you practice your conversation and active listening skills. More and more studies are showing that digital assistants can help older adults feel less lonely, too.

Get assistance with everyday tasks

When your smart speaker is connected to other smart home devices, you can control your TV, lights and thermostat with just your voice. Talk about convenience!

Get help in an emergency

While you can’t use your smart speaker to call 911, you can still get some peace of mind. Link your device to a service provider like Ask My Buddy, which sends text messages, emails or phone calls to someone you choose or connects with first responders via the Buddy Assist feature. To link, you’ll need to create an account on their website. It’s free to use and costs $5 a month for more advanced features. In addition, Alexa allows you to pick one emergency contact to both dial and message if anyone in your household asks Alexa to “call for help.”

Check In With Yourself

If you’re over 50 and live alone, you could be one of the more than 8 million people who are missing out on the health benefits of social connection. In addition to offering convenience, smart speakers are a terrific way to stay healthy and connected while on your own.

How Connected Are You?

It has never been more important to know the signs of social isolation. All it takes to get started is your voice. Just say “Alexa, launch Social Check-In” or “Hey Google, talk to Social Check-In” to find out your risk level find support for building connections.

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