7 Ways Amazon Alexa Saves Senior Living Staff’s Time

The staffing shortage shows no signs of slowing down – 79 percent of senior living industry professionals ranked it as their top workforce challenge. Even outside of the senior living industry, we’re seeing record-high levels of turnover.

So what can senior living community leaders do to help attract and retain talent?

One effective move is to make voice command devices available to their community. Using voice assistant technology enables residents to independently finish daily activities while freeing up staff schedules.

Here are seven ways Amazon Alexa can save time for senior living staff in your community.

1. Let Residents Set Medication Reminders

When combined with an EHR and eMAR, a resident’s Amazon Alexa serves as another digital tool to maintain residents’ health regimens.

With Amazon Alexa, residents can set timers throughout the day, reminding them to take their medication. This accomplishes two goals:

  1. It frees up staff to check on residents with more urgent needs.
  2. It helps residents develop the habit of taking medication at the same time each day.

When 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition, it’s easy to see how much time staff can save when residents use this voice assistant technology.

2. Help Community Members Book Medical Appointments

Telehealth has made getting medical care more convenient, but residents still need to log in to portals or call their PCP to schedule an appointment.

With Amazon Alexa, residents can simply use their voice to book an appointment. And residents can rest assured knowing their private information is secure – this use case is accomplished with HIPAA-compliant integrations.

3. Empower Older Adults to Verify Day-to-Day Information

Whether it’s checking the weather or the time, there are plenty of quick questions residents have throughout the day.

When residents use Amazon Alexa, they can get answers on demand, without needing to seek out staff. This goes a long way in helping older adults retain their independence, something many fear losing when joining a senior living community.

So use voice assistant technology to give residents what they want – freedom.

4. Broadcast Community-Wide Programming to Residents

Once it’s integrated with your community engagement platform, Amazon Alexa can broadcast community events to residents. This use deepens residents’ engagement with their community and equips them with useful information that helps limit social isolation.

Without a voice command device, residents might need to seek out staff to verify programming each day or week. This process isn’t just time-consuming; it could also mean older adults miss out on social engagement if they don’t verify an event’s details in time.

5. Simplify Maintenance Requests for Older Adults

Residents might normally ask staff members to file maintenance requests on their behalf, pulling staff away from other tasks.

Voice command technology allows them to submit a work order with a simple phrase. This cuts out the middleman, which saves staff time and makes filing these requests more convenient for residents.

6. Give Residents Greater Control of Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology equips residents with convenient ways of completing day-to-day tasks, from turning lights on and off to controlling the heat and AC. The smart home technology market is growing, too. A recent study found that by 2025 people will rely on this technology to lead safer and more productive lives.

Amazon Alexa can connect with residents’ existing smart home technology for more streamlined use. For example, instead of looking for their smartphone to turn off the lights via app, residents could just say “Alexa, turn off the lights.” This saves time and particularly benefits the older adults in your community who may experience chronic pain or mobility issues.

7. Enable Community Members to Quickly Listen to Music

Music benefits older adults’ physical and cognitive health. A 2021 study revealed that older adults who suffer a stroke may recover faster after listening to their favorite singers. Numerous other studies point to music’s positive effect on memory care residents, as well.

Outside of its health benefits, music is also a wonderful way for residents to engage with art and liven up their living spaces.

Amazon Alexa enables community members to queue up their favorite songs with a simple phrase and without the need for staff intervention.

Commit to Your Senior Living Staff by Valuing Their Time

Senior living communities aren’t only competing with other health-adjacent industries to secure talent; they’re competing with McDonald’s and Wendy’s. More than 4.5 million people left their jobs this past March. In other words, it’s a historically difficult market to attract and retain talent.

Equipping your communities with voice assistant technology shows that you value your staff’s time. These devices empower staff to use their energy as effectively as possible, with the added benefit of helping residents build up their own sense of independence.

Fostering a culture that values employees is a continuous process, but it’s worth it, both for your team and for your community members.

If you’d like more information about how voice assistant technology can improve staff retention in your community,

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