Benefits of Google Voice Assistant for Seniors6 min read
Making life safer and easier for seniors with Google Voice Assistant.
As our parents age, they may become more forgetful. Just the other day, we had to air out the entire kitchen because Ah Gong left his bak kut teh boiling on the stove for too long and it burnt. Luckily we were all at home, as it could have been a huge fire risk!
The good news is, modern technology is here to save the day. With a Voice Assistant like Google Assistant, you can simply tell your phone to turn off the stove – much like how Tony Stark talks to J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man movies.
These days, smart Voice Assistants like Google Assistant are commonly found in our smartphones and smart speakers like Nest Audio from Google. More than just a device for playing your favourite tunes or videos, these nifty voice-activated assistants can perform a variety of tasks and home automations. Using your voice to control stuff around the house? C’mon man, that’s just next level cool!
Voice Assistants? Wah, expensive or not?
Tech-ing out your house may sound expensive, but it doesn’t need to be! For a simple Smart Home setup, there’s no need to start replacing all your appliances with the latest technology. All you need is a smart plug that enables the Voice Assistant to connect to your appliance (e.g. the stove), and you’re good to go!
If you’re living with a senior or two in your family, these technological tweaks can actually lead to pretty serious quality of life improvements for them. Here’s how:
Just say the word, bro
The first thing about smart Voice Assistants is that well, you can talk to them and they can talk back to you! The Nest Audio responds to simple, natural voice commands which is a real boon for someone with vision problems, mobility issues, or arthritis in the hands. It can even recognise Singlish accents – buay pai hor?
Other than being a really cool way to live out your Iron Man fantasies, it’s a convenient way for seniors to make use of technology – once it’s set up, it’s definitely easier than fiddling with a smartphone interface, which can be daunting for some.
All you have to do is say “Ok Google” to activate the listening feature, and then follow up with a simple question or statement. You’ll be able to set timers and alarms, read the news and so much more.
Image source: Unsplash
Macam your own personal assistant
You can programme the Nest Audio to automatically perform a set list of tasks when you tell it “Hey Google, good morning” or “Hey Google, good night.” This is immensely helpful to seniors with memory loss, so they don’t have to worry about forgetting anything important they do on a regular basis – it’s like having a personalised butler who’s in tune with your needs! For instance, when you say “Hey Google, good morning”, the Nest Audio can:
- Turn on the lights and TV
- Turn off the aircon/fan
- Turn off kitchen appliances, such as electric stove
- Remind you to take your medication
- Update you on the news and weather
- Alert you to any events happening that day
It’s quite easy to set up too – all you need to do is go into the Google Home app, and customise the actions to be performed when the chosen phrase is spoken. Like all things Google, it’s pretty intuitive and easy to use!
Look ma! No hands!
Staying connected with family and caregivers is essential to the mental health of seniors. The Nest Audio works great as a hands-free speaker phone to make voice calls to loved ones. All you need to say is “Call my son” or “Call my nurse” and you’ll be speaking to that person in seconds. It’s actually a lot simpler than using a smartphone!
Image source: Unsplash
Hey Google, remember this hor
One very useful feature on your Google Assistant is the ability to remember important information for you. For instance, you can say “Hey Google, remember that Cathy's birthday is April 17". Later on when you need to, you can easily remind yourself by saying “Hey Google, when is Cathy’s birthday?”
If you’re blur like sotong, the feature also works great as a reminder of where things are located. For example, you can tell Google Assistant to remember that the important medication is kept in the 2nd kitchen drawer. To keep track of easy-to-lose items like keys and smartphones, you can also pair it with an NFC tag like Tile which will sound an audible alert when you issue a command like “Hey Google, find my house keys”.
Eye power to keep your home safe
Having a security monitoring system inside and outside your home can help you keep an eye on the well-being of seniors at home, especially if you have to leave the house for work or to run errands. For instance, a variety of indoor video cameras are compatible with Nest Audio. With a video doorbell, you can also see who is visiting your home, and some will even allow you to speak to whoever is at your door!
The possibilities are endless
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making your home senior-friendly with the help of a Voice Assistant. With a bit of creative tinkering, there are many things you can do that will help make life easier for your elderly family members. Happy exploring!
The eldest of the Tng family. Smart, buff, responsible, and very single. Bobby works in IT in the civil service and is a loyal son, brother and friend. Like his father, he is always brewing with ideas and his greatest wish is to be an entrepreneur one day.