Echo Show 8
An Echo Show 8 deployed in senior living communities. (Credit: Business Wire)

A smart home collaboration will see Amazon Alexa devices deployed across Atria Management Co.’s entire national portfolio, which the company says is a first in the senior living industry.

The senior living management company on Tuesday announced its collaboration with Alexa Smart Properties, which will implement large-scale, nationwide installations of Amazon Echo Show 8 devices, enabling smart home automation and automated resident engagement across its various senior living brands: Coterie, Atria Signature, Atria Senior Living and Holiday by Atria.

Atria collaborated with Amazon and digital transformation company Aiva Health to develop custom Alexa “skills” for senior living residents, allowing them to use voice commands to connect with loved ones, access information, video chat and communicate with Atria staff members.

“We are fast-tracking an analog space across our portfolio to be smarter, even more efficient in social connection and resident engagement,” Atria Chief Technology Officer Chris Nall said in a statement. “After all, we know what is most important for the well-being of older adults is to remain connected to their family, friends and staff members in meaningful ways.”

The devices’ screens also display curated videos announcing upcoming Atria Engage Life events and daily menus.

Atria already has seen a 50% to 75% increase in residents attending programs at Atria communities that have Alexa Smart Properties, Nall said.

The Louisville, KY-based company manages independent living, assisted living, supportive living and memory care communities in more than 370 locations across 44 states and in Canada. Collectively, locations serve 41,000 residents and employ 13,000 staff members. 

Amazon has been moving into the senior living space over the past several years as providers have sought ways to connect residents to staff members, family members and each other.

In 2019, Amazon announced HIPAA-compliant skills for Alexa, with senior living parent companies in the mix. And in 2022, Amazon announced a technology challenge focused on easing the aging process.

Many operators have started using Amazon Alexa and Echo devices in communities as a way to increase staff efficiency and resident connectivity, with efforts expanding since the start of the pandemic.

For example, in 2021, Atria and Sacramento, CA-based Eskaton announced that they would integrate Alexa Smart Properties Amazon Echo devices at select senior living communities to keep residents connected and engaged

In 2022, Atria announced that it was installing Amazon Echo Shows at its Coterie Cathedral Hill luxury senior living community San Francisco. 

Carlton Senior Living recently partnered with software company Speak2 to implement Alexa-enabled devices. And the Radcliff Assisted Living community teamed up with senior care communication platform Serenity, using the company’s Alexa-powered devices to streamline operations and increase communication.

Serenity Engage integrated with Amazon’s senior living solution from Alexa Smart Properties to create a custom Alexa deployment serving as a personalized digital concierge in senior living. And Sequoia Living’s Viamonte at Walnut Creek partnered with technology company K4Connect during the pandemic to use Amazon Alexa-powered devices for communication, safety and smart lighting control programs.

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln demonstration project found that voice-activated technology can reduce loneliness among senior living residents and help with the design of “gerontechnology” aimed at older adults.