Stereotypes dictate that senior citizens and the latest technology don't mix, but at Ingleside, around 50 residents talk to Amazon's Alexa on a regular basis. She helps them record their favorite shows, make dinner reservations and even sign up for Ingleside programs and trips.
When Ingleside piloted the project, giving 50 residents Amazon Echo (the speaker that Alexa is attached to) in early January, "the long-term goal was to explore how voice recognition devices can contribute to improving or augmenting the wellbeing of residents," says Dusanka Delovska-Trajkova, Ingleside's chief information officer.
At first, there were concerns that residents would find the new technology challenging. "We were not even sure if the residents were going to use it" Delovska-Trajkova says, "but now we know that more than 90 percent of the pilot group use it daily," while the other 10 percent use it two to three times a week. Some use it to create shopping lists, and others have connected their phone contacts to the speaker and use it to make calls.