Echo Show 8

Echo Show 8 devices are being deployed in senior living communities. (Credit: Business Wire)

A partnership between Amazon and senior living providers is bringing Alexa-enabled devices into residents’ homes in an effort to ease communication and customize experiences.

Louisville, KY-based Atria Senior Living and Sacramento, CA-based Eskaton will integrate Alexa Smart Properties Amazon Echo devices at select senior living communities to keep residents connected and engaged, Amazon announced Monday. The program is designed to help residents stay in touch with loved ones, connect with their community, access community news and quickly reach staff members. 

Alexa Smart Properties allows providers to offer customized Alexa experiences for residents with information such as activity schedules and menus. The devices also can help with check-ins, maintenance requests and administrative tasks.

Communication features can allow caregivers to make announcements, voice and video calls, or send direct audio messages to other Alexa-enabled devices throughout a community. 

“We’ve consistently moved to put our residents in the position to live their best lives now. Technology has played a critical role in this effort,” Atria Senior Living Chairman and CEO John A. Moore said. “When you combine our resident and family app with the deployment of Alexa Smart Properties in our communities, seniors have an even greater ability to write the next chapter of their lives through easy-to-use technology that keeps them engaged and connected to their families at all times.”

K4Connect CEO Scott Moody said the project is the culmination of a long-term partnership with Smart Properties.

“As part of our K4Community offering, voice is the most natural of user interfaces, making it a great way for residents to have access to all kinds of capabilities simply by saying a few words,” Moody told McKnight’s Senior Living.

Alexa Smart Properties tools can work with solution providers — such as K4Connect, Lifeline Senior Living and Vocera — to deploy and customize large numbers of Alexa-enabled devices. Those companies can help senior living operators build and enable “skills” to answer property-specific questions and integrate with other property management systems. The devices also can be programmed for medication tracking while protecting health information.

“Voice integration has the power to transform how resident requests are made and how staff respond,” Lifeline Senior Living General Manager Kim Judd said. “Adding Alexa Smart Properties functionality to our CarePoint resident safety system enables residents to make hands-free help requests and receive verbal confirmation to know they’ve been heard. And staff can see the context of requests and triage more efficiently.”