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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 07/20/2022

Amazon alexa together - Voice Technology for Seniors and Caregivers


Amazon has rolled out alexa together, a caregiving service that connects your Alexa app to their Echo devices. Dr. Reitz is a faculty, aging and technology researcher and has consulted with companies on the design of new devices for older adults. She is co-founder of the Fintech company "AllWise".  

Galina Madjaroff Reitz, PhD Faculty Program Director
University of Maryland | The College of Information Studies
Bachelor of Science in Information Science at Shady Grove
go.umd.edu/usginfosci

gmreitz@umd.edu

Powerpoint 

Questions Asked on this Discussion

  • Galina, do you work with the Hearing & Speech Department at UMD?
  • Does every caregiver pay the subscription or just one account?
  • is there a limit of data? Can you be charged if you go over a certain amount.
  • What Alexa features support caregiver providers and their caregiving services?
  • Joining in late..but does this replace something like LifeAlert?
  • Can this be used internationally?
  • I know that quite a few people are reluctant to use Alexa due to privacy concerns. My understanding is there is an option so that data isn’t save.
  • What Alexa features support caregiver providers and their caregiving services?
  • Are there any privacy or security concerns with using alexa?
  • What if the older adult doesn't have a mobile phone OR doesn't have it on 24/7? Would a landline with message machine work?
  • Is there a way that our company could be billed instead of the person we support?
  • can it, would it be covered by Medicare or Medicaid in possible near future
  • can you customize the type of notifications is sends?
  • When you “drop in” on your older adult family member, does it automatically turn on the person’s camera? I just feel like that’s a little invasive for the older adult…
  • Project Euphonia, through Google is building speech models for those with Neurological issues

Chat Transcript

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12:05:22     From  DeNeane Chase : DeNeane Chase Family Support Worker  Adult Services Unit ,Charles County Dept. of Social Services

12:05:41     From  Dixcy Bosley : Big Shout out to Steve!!!  Your programing is so useful.    Dixcy , nurser care manager at Iona

12:05:54     From  Janet Gritz   to   Hosts and panelists : Greetings. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist in Silver Spring, Md.  my email address is janetgslp@comcast.net .

I provide 2 free Stroke Support Zoom chats each month. I also represent Montgomery County Stroke Association — a local nonprofit organization. For details about either my SLP services and programs  or about MCSA’s Programs, please contact me.

12:06:15     From  Joan Green : Greetings! I'm Joan Green- a speech-language pathologist, assistive technology specialist and online tech coach. I'm always happy to connect with free 15 min phone calls to help everyone figure out next steps to leverage the benefits of tech. Just go to www.innovativespeech.com and click "let's chat." I'll call you at the time you select. I recently created an amazing cohort of eldertech advisors and educators. It's a 5- week experience of like-minded colleagues and elder advocates with live Zoom sessions, a discussion group and a robust resource collect. If you would like to apply to be part of the next cohort ( in the fall or winter) please reach out to me at Joan@innovativespeech.com. There is no cost or obligation. I'm thrilled to learn from Galina today!

12:06:40     From  Karen Dotson : Karen Dotson, Program Coordinator, Virginia POST (physician order for scope of treatment), www.virginiapost.org an endorsed program of National POLST www.polst.org - POST/POLST communicates your wishes as medical orders.  POST/POLST is for the seriously ill or frail and they offer more options than a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.  If you know someone who would benefit from a POST/POLST order, contact your doctor or care facility to see if they participate in the program.  If not, refer them to their state POST contact.

12:07:18     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Janet Gritz to All Panelists 12:05 PM

Greetings. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist in Silver Spring, Md.  my email address is janetgslp@comcast.net .

I provide 2 free Stroke Support Zoom chats each month. I also represent Montgomery County Stroke Association — a local nonprofit organization. For details about either my SLP services and programs  or about MCSA’s Programs, please contact me.

12:07:47     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Lydia Oladapo to All Panelists 12:02 PM

Hi everyone, Lydia Oladapo, UNT

12:07:55     From  Susan Wranik : Hello Everyone! Thank you, Steve, for yet another great program with Dr. Galina - the best! Know someone with Parkinson’s who might benefit from online exercises for greater volume?   susan@speakskill.com 301 520 2332

Treating speech, memory and swallowing in-home in the DMV. Susan I Wranik, MS MA CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

12:08:06     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Kathleen Morris to All Panelists 12:02 PM

Hi All, Kathleen Morris from Aging Well Eldercare!

12:09:33     From  Joan Green : Yay! University of MD???? All 4 of my kids went there. I'd love to learn more about ITAP.

12:09:51     From  Cliff Glier : Greetings Steve, Galina, Everyone else!

Cliff Glier

SenCura Home Care

cliff@sencura.com

www.sencura.com

703.880.2547

Serving All of Northern Virginia

12:10:14     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Galina Madjaroff Reitz, PhD

Faculty Program Director

College of Information Studies

University of Maryland gmreitz@umd.edu

12:10:44     From  Sarah Bram   to   Hosts and panelists : Hi from Montgomery County as well! I have my undergrad degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Special Education. I’m trying to obtain my SLPA license!

12:11:14     From  Robert Pearson   to   Hosts and panelists : Hi everyone. thanks for hosting this Steve. - Bob Pearson Disabled American Veterans and Parkinson’s Advocate

12:12:05     From  Sarah Bram   to   Hosts and panelists : Hi Joan! I’ve attended your virtual presentations before. :)

12:13:21     From  Gloria Petit-Clair   to   Hosts and panelists : I’m a retired SLP, hearing impaired, wanting to live independently and help my friends with their issues. I’m part of Joan Green’s Eldertech project this summer.

12:13:28     From  Robert Pearson   to   Hosts and panelists : My cousin’s late husband was bedbound for his latest two years with metastatic cancer and other disabilities. His Amazon Alexa made a huge difference in his QOL.

12:13:35     From  Melissa Bressler : Melissa Bressler, Outreach Manager/Occupational Therapist at HandyPro of Washington DC / Melissa@handypro.com / 301-960-1060 / Our team of home modification consultants provide free consultants prioritizing home safety and accessibility through residential and commercial modifications (i.e. ramps, stairlifts, door widening, bathroom modifications, etc.).

12:13:49     From  Debbie Drennan : Will the slides be available?

12:14:07     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Robert Pearson to All Panelists 12:11 PM

Hi everyone. thanks for hosting this Steve. - Bob Pearson Disabled American Veterans and Parkinson’s Advocate

12:15:29     From  sara roades : Sara Roades, care manager

12:15:38     From  sara roades : Caring Considerations

12:15:45     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Here is the Alexa Together website https://www.amazon.com/Alexa-Together/b?ie=UTF8&node=21390531011

12:16:48     From  Mary Jo Deering   to   Hosts and panelists : Hello Galina.  This is Mary Jo Deering, President of the Washington Area Villages Exchange WAVE, the umbrella group for aging-in-place villages across the mid-atlantic region. Montgomery County has the largest number of villages (41 at least, vs. 18 for DC and 16 for VA) My background is in consumer tech (27 years at USDHHS) and I’ve given presentations on voice tech for seniors.  I live in Bethesda.  I will follow up with you, probably next week to see how we could benefit from your skills and expertise.   Many thanks.   mjd@mjdeering.net.  301 908 1197

12:17:27     From  Jeffrey Houle   to   Hosts and panelists : Hello everyone, Hubert Jerome from Life360|Tile, we help you find things, people and pets and provide crash detection and notification of loved ones. Our voice integration allows users to leverage their Alexa devices for finding services.

12:17:28     From  bonny cochran   to   Hosts and panelists : pleaase do not perseverate -- tell  us the cor?

12:17:54     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Jeffrey Houle to All Panelists 12:17 PM

Hello everyone, Hubert Jerome from Life360|Tile, we help you find things, people and pets and provide crash detection and notification of loved ones. Our voice integration allows users to leverage their Alexa devices for finding services.

12:18:05     From  Don Frederiksen : Don Frederiksen with SeniorTechClub.com.  Thank you for hosting this.

12:19:37     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community   to   Mary Jo Deering and all panelists : I sent this via email just to make sure the connection is made!

12:21:15     From  Suman   to   Hosts and panelists : Can I use this services on Alexa echo dot only?

12:23:10     From  Sally Norton-Darr : what is annual subscription price?  transcript was confusing

12:23:42     From  Kim Nguyen : @Sally - $200/year

12:24:08     From  Sally Norton-Darr : ????

12:25:40     From  Rene Laje   to   Hosts and panelists : Can this be used internationally?

12:26:19     From  Dan Schwartz : Are Echo skills portable to Google and vice versa?

12:27:06     From  Jessica Hardiman : Thank you!

12:27:45     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community   to   Mary Jo Deering and all panelists : Cost is $19.99 per month or $200 per year

12:27:50     From  Robert Pearson   to   Hosts and panelists : Does Apple have a similar service?

12:28:00     From  Suman   to   Hosts and panelists : Can the Caregiver has one Amazon account and the person who is being cared for won’t need a account?

12:28:05     From  Amy Keller   to   Hosts and panelists : Greetings! Amy Keller From Aging at Home Solution

12:28:33     From  Rebeca Brown   to   Hosts and panelists : What Alexa features support caregiver providers and their caregiving services?

12:29:26     From  Bonnie McClellan : Are you aware of Grandpad, another subscription system for aging in place and how do they compare?

12:29:27     From  Niranjan Gunaratnam   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you!

12:30:17     From  Elizabeth Kurtz-Nunn : I had Grandpad for my mother and it is more expensive and much less user friendly. Very basic.

12:30:37     From  Mimi Leinbach : Is there a safety concern on someone hacking a device? There are companies that do this same thing with Amazon devices but advertise as being encrypted. Is this also encrypted and safe or is the hacking ability higher with this service?

12:31:25     From  Bonnie McClellan : hmm.  Thought it less than $200/yr and included wider possible contacts.

12:31:34     From  Jose Ramos : Can this service be added to Alexa for Hospitality which will make it then useful to Nursing Homes?

12:34:14     From  Bonnie McClellan : My mistake. Grandpad is $65/mo.

12:34:52     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Amy Keller to All Panelists 12:28 PM

Greetings! Amy Keller From Aging at Home Solution

12:37:09     From  Amy Keller   to   Hosts and panelists : Will you have something like QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor , scale ect

12:38:36     From  Debra Hallisey : Will Amazon consider increasing the number of phone numbers allowable in a profile? My mom is blind and uses Alexa to call people, but 10 contacts/numbers are not enough.

12:38:59     From  Suman   to   Hosts and panelists : Recently I purchased echo show 8, microphone didn’t work, Alexa didn’t respond even when standing close

, I am returning the unit and stand!

12:40:06     From  Suman   to   Hosts and panelists : Would the technology work for a person with dementia ?

12:42:19     From  Mary Sweeney : I just bought Wyze cameras on Amazon so I can monitor my mom during the day while I'm at work.  It cost about $100 for 3 cameras, which were very easy to install and I can watch her on my phone any time of day.  I can also talk to her and she can talk back.  No subscription cost although you can pay a monthly cost for enhanced services if you want things like motion detection and notifications.  So far I'm very impressed with it.

12:43:54     From  Suzanne Brooks : seems like phone/cell service could be more reliable

12:44:24     From  Renate Reimschuessel : one thing that needs to be made clear, Alexa will not call a cell phone directly.  For example, my car will call a regular number, but the Alexa only calls via the internet app, so will only call folks that have the Alexa together app.

12:44:56     From  Joan Green : I use Alexa all the time in my home and find it very helpful for elders. We use drop-in with my mother-in-law when she doesn't pick up her Grandpad. We like having both options in case one method doesn't work.

12:45:11     From  Don Frederiksen : I tell people that it is important to mute your Alexa when you are doing your money laundering business.

12:45:39     From  Debbie Drennan : Does Google have anything compatible?  Google tends to understand those with voice issues better than Alexa

12:46:19     From  Joan Green : My parents never go into their Alexa pp. I set it all up and they just enjoy using their Echo show devices.

12:46:51     From  Galina Madjaroff Reitz, PhD   to   Hosts and panelists : Debbie: not the service but Google Home devices

12:47:01     From  Jennifer Milsovic   to   Hosts and panelists : Oops! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to raise my hand!

12:48:58     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Voice Summit 2022 https://www.voicesummit.ai/

12:49:02     From  Debbie Drennan : https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/alexa/alexa-for-hospitality/get-started

12:51:35     From  Bonnie McClellan : St. Louis, MO has purchased a very large number of subscriptions now for 2 years to distribute to library users opening the idea of City's as providers.

12:51:48     From  Bonnie McClellan : these were Grandpads.

12:52:28     From  Melissa Bressler : There are assistive technology programs through most states where equipment can be loaned or possibly be funded. They also cover home modification projects, as well.

12:53:33     From  Danny Rodriguez : Love the use of tech to keep people empowered and independent, keep up the awesome work.  How does this product differ from linking multiple Alexa devices on one master account and using them to "Drop in" or "Call" or see the doorbell at no cost?

12:55:40     From  Joan Green : Not everyone has a speech pattern that Alexa understands. I'm glad now that typing is also an option.

12:55:48     From  Pam Ostrowski : Voice is SO important for helping our aging population. Thank you for having this conversation! The key is addressing the security/listening aspect.

12:56:45     From  Sarah Bram   to   Hosts and panelists : If you look at the Amazon Hospitality site someone shared, there are sections for Senior Living and Healthcare!

12:58:16     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Project Euphonia, through Google is building speech models for those with Neurological issues

13:01:26     From  AnnMarie Riehl : Galina and Steve you both already know I'm looking for a review of Caregiver Apps/Websites for care coordination. And, perhaps how they compare to the Alexa Together.

13:01:43     From  Joan Green : It's helpful to write out options that people can say to Alexa if they have difficulty remembering how to interact in a way that the device understands.

13:01:56     From  Suman   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks. I have to go to another zoom meeting. This was a

Great presentation

13:04:05     From  Sally Norton-Darr   to   Hosts and panelists : thank you so much.  I look forward to more info on your center in Rockville.  Sally.NortonDarr@gmail.com

13:05:59     From  Jose Ramos : what is Galina's email?

13:07:42     From  Renate Reimschuessel : You may be able to call your own cell phone from Alexa if it is nearby, but Alexa won't call regular phone numbers of people not physically near the device.  We tried to do it, and eventually returned the device because it would not call regular phone numbers

13:09:00     From  Melissa Bressler : Here are the links to the assistive technology programs: https://mdod.maryland.gov/mdtap/Pages/MDTAP-Home.aspx {Maryland)   https://www.atpdc.org/ (Washington DC) https://www.vats.org/ (Virginia)

13:10:14     From  Joan Green : This was wonderful. Thank you!

13:10:31     From  Marian Berman   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you so much.

13:10:36     From  Jessica Hardiman : Thank you so much, it was very informative!

13:10:40     From  Suzanne Brooks : thanks so much

13:10:52     From  Suzanne Brooks : very interesting

13:10:52     From  Ky Corbet   to   Hosts and panelists : Yes, it was very informative. I enjoyed it thank you!

13:10:54     From  Danny Rodriguez : Thank You! Great Job!!


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