We’ve heard and seen more and more adverts recently for Intelligent Personal Assistants like Alexa, and how they can be used to help the elderly. But how does this compare to personal interaction? The one I’m visualising right now is the one that shows an elderly man receiving an Echo Show with Alexa voice assistant as a present from his grandson. At first, grandpa appears unconvinced by the Amazon device. However, by the time his grandson next comes to visit, the actor’s quick to demonstrate how easily he can use it by welcoming his grandson back with his favourite track.
There are also a number of devices on the market that can ‘watch over’ elderly family members and trigger alarms as and when it’s necessary. These are great inventions, in our opinion, as the interaction they require can remove some of the boredom and loneliness that can and does exist for many elderly people. If they can also signal problems when and if they should occur, what’s not to love?
I suppose our only reservation is that they should not be treated as a substitute for personal attention. The key thing about this advert is that the grandson visits and that grandpa is still getting lots of personal attention too. In other words, social interaction with another human being is also key.
At Blossom, we are so aware of this fact as our aim is to enable the people we care for to remain living in their own home, whilst encouraging them to participate in life and social activities as much as possible. These activities can make a real difference to their life in general. That’s why we enable our carers to take time with clients, to chat, and to do the things that really matter to them and us. Our objective is for a relationship/bond to develop and, for this reason, we designate a team of carers to each client so they get used to a friendly face. This also helps to maximise our ability to spot any changes since our last visit, which is key. So while we have lots of praise for these products, they should be looked upon as an add-on, rather than a substitute for personal interaction.
If you are interested to read how Alexa may be able to help an elderly relative, click the link below. If you’d like to know more about Blossom Home Care, get in touch today!