Amazon Alexa is an intelligent virtual assistant that helps you with many things. It can play your favorite song, read the latest news, control lights, and do quick math for you.
You can use voice commands to access different features on your Alexa device.
This article covers
- A list of Alexa commands for seniors
- A guide to using Skills on an Alexa device
Let’s get started.
List of Basic Alexa Commands for Seniors
1: Volume Control Commands
You can control Alexa’s volume on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the loudest. There are multiple ways to control the volume. Here are some simple Alexa commands for elderly to set the volume.
- “Alexa, set the volume to 5”
- “Alexa, louder”
- “Alexa, turn up/down the volume”
- “Alexa, play folk music at volume 7”
You can also do other media settings like “Alexa, set the bass to 5”.
2: Alarm Commands
These commands will help you set up different types of alarms.
- “Alexa, set an alarm at 7 AM tomorrow morning” or “Alexa, wake me up at 7 in the morning”.
- “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 AM every weekday”.
- Use Music as your alarm sound: You can select a song, artist, genre, station, or playlist as your alarm sound. Use commands like “Alexa, wake me up with “Vogue” by Madonna at 7 AM every day” or “Alexa, set an alarm to play 80’s music at 7 AM tomorrow”.
When the alarm goes off you can use “Alexa, stop” to turn off the alarm or “Alexa, snooze” for 9 minutes of extra sleep before the alarm clock sounds again.
You can also ask Alexa questions like “Alexa, when is my next alarm” or cancel you alarm by saying “Alexa, cancel my alarm at 2 PM”.
You can ask Alexa to remind you of certain activities or events. When the reminder is due, Alexa will remind you “Here is your reminder” and then announce it twice.
Here are some of the voice commands seniors can use for reminders.
- “Alexa, remind me to check the oven in 15 minutes”
- “Alexa, remind me to visit the dentist tomorrow at 4 PM”
- “Alexa, remind me to drink water at 6 PM every day”
- “Alexa, what are my reminders tomorrow”
You can change a reminder using the Alexa app.
- Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines in the upper left corner)
- Tap Reminders and Alarms, then the reminder that you want to edit
- Tap Edit in the upper right corner
- Make the change and tap Save and you are done
To hear your reminder, ask “Alexa, what are my reminders?” and Alexa will list your reminders.
4: News Updates
You can listen to the latest news from your favorite news station on Alexa. You can catch up on the latest news, headlines, popular news shows, interviews, and more from NPR, Fox News, ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, USA Today, and many more channels.
Here is a list of Alexa commands for seniors to get the latest news on their devices.
- “Alexa, play the news”
- “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing”
- “Alexa, play the local news”
- “Alexa, play the news from Fox News”
- “Alexa, enable CNN news notification”
- “Alexa, what is in the news from BBC/USA Today/ <or local station>”
To select your favorite news channel as the primary channel to get all news, follow these steps.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone
- Go to Menu > Settings
- Scroll and tap on News
- Choose the primary channel from the list to finish
Know more about Alexa News commands.
5: Weather Updates
Alexa can update you with the latest weather updates and alert you when there is a severe weather alert. (Snowstorm, rain, hurricane, etc). Start by adding your address in the Alexa app for correct local updates.
Alexa can also provide humidity levels, UV index, and other weather information. Here are some examples of Alexa commands for seniors to get the latest weather updates.
- “Alexa, what is the weather like outside”
- “Alexa, what is the humidity level/UV index today”
- “Alexa, when does the sun set today”
- “Alexa, what will be the weather like at 11 am”
- “Alexa, will it rain tomorrow”
- “Alexa, how is the weather like in the city/state”
- “Alexa, what’s the weather going to be like this weekend”
- “Alexa, tell me when there is a severe weather alert”
You can set timers on Alexa using voice commands as follow.
- Set a timer using “Alexa, set a timer for 20 minutes”
- Set multiple timers by saying “Alexa, set a second timer for 10 minutes”
- Set a named timer like “Alexa, set a pizza timer for 25 minutes”
- “Alexa, set a sleep timer for 1 hour”
You can ask the timer status by voice commands like “How much time is left on the pizza timer” or cancel a timer using “Alexa, cancel the 20-minute timer”.
You can maintain your calendar on your Alexa device. Here are some simple Alexa commands for seniors to help them maintain a calendar on their Alexa devices.
- “Alexa, what’s on my calendar for tomorrow”
- “Alexa, add [event] to my calendar”
- “Alexa, move my meeting from 2 PM to 3 PM”
- “Alexa, what’s the next event on my calendar”
- “Alexa, delete the dental clinic visit from my calendar tomorrow”
- “Alexa, move the dental clinic visit to 15 May”
Calendars are helpful for achieving tasks and keeping track of appointments.
Forgetfulness is a common problem that you may suffer as you get old. Alexa enables you to create and manage lists. You can make multiple lists including a shopping list, to-do list, gift list, and more.
Here are some of the common Alexa commands for elderly to maintain lists.
- “Alexa, make a grocery list”
- “Alexa, add pasta and tomatoes to the grocery list”
- “Alexa, check off pasta from the grocery list”
- “Alexa what is on my to-do list”
You can make as many lists as you want.
9: Call, Messaging, and Drop-in
One of the best uses of Alexa is to connect with your loved ones through audio/video calls (drop-ins) and messaging. Make sure you have enabled the drop-in feature before using it.
Here are some of the Alexa commands for communication with your family and friends.
- “Alexa, call [contact’s name]”
- “Alexa, answer the call” or “Alexa, end the call”
- “Alexa, drop in on [contact’s name]”
- “Alexa, send [contact’s name] a message” or “Alexa, play messages”
You can ask “Alexa, disable drop-in” to the disable drop-in feature to stop others from dropping in on you.
10: Music and Audio Content
You can play your favorite music, podcasts, or audiobook on your Alexa device. This section covers Alexa commands for seniors to play audio/video content.
- “Alexa, play some music”
- “Alexa, play music by [artist name]”
- “Alexa, play the latest Avett Brothers album”
- “Alexa, play the song of the day”
- “Alexa, play on Spotify”
- “Alexa, play the [radio station name]”
- “Alexa read the Kindle book [book name]”
- “Alexa, create a “weekend songs list” “
- Read an Audiobook: Use “Alexa, read [book title]” or “Read the audiobook [title]”. Here is a complete guide to listening to audiobooks on your Alexa device.
- Listen to Podcasts: Add a podcast skill like Stitcher to your Alexa device. And use voice commands like “Alexa, ask Stitcher to play [podcast name]” or “Alexa, ask stitcher to play the first/last episode of [podcast name]”
11: Movies/ TV Commands
Alexa can help you with any questions about movies, TV shows, and other media. Here are some of the common things you can ask Alexa.
- “Alexa, tell me about the [movie]/ [TV show]”
- “Alexa, what’s [actor]’s latest/first movie”
- “Alexa, what’s IMDB rating for [movie]/ [TV show]”
- “Alexa who plays [character] in [movie]”
- “Alexa, show me titles with [actor name]”
- “Alexa, what’s the best film of [actor name]”
- “Alexa, who’s the highest-paid actor of the year 2022”
You can also ask Alexa about what movies are playing in local cinemas or use Alexa Echo devices to watch a movie trailer.
12: The “Show” Commands for Echo Show
Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot come with a touchscreen display. You can ask Alexa to show you things. Here are some of the simple Alexa commands for seniors to get the most out of their Echo devices.
- “Alexa, show my calendar”
- “Alexa, show me pictures of cats”
- “Alexa, show me the trailer for Wakanda Forever”
- “Alexa, show me travel videos on YouTube”
- “Alexa, play video flash briefing for me”
- “Alexa, show me movie showtimes”
Echo Show devices enable older adults to watch video content and drop in on others.
Does Alexa have a sense of humor? Let’s find out. Here are some of the fun Alexa commands to have a laugh and some popular commands that prompt a humorous response.
- “Alexa, tell me a joke”
- “Alexa, beam me up”
- “Alexa, are you lying”
- “Alexa, are you Skynet”
- “Alexa, can you give me some money [ask twice]”
- “Alexa, do aliens exist”
- “Alexa, define rock paper scissors lizard spock”
- “Alexa, do you have a boyfriend”
- “Alexa, give me a hug”
- “Alexa, how much do you weigh”
- “Alexa, how tall are you”
- “Alexa, I think you’re funny”
- “Alexa, knock knock”
- “Alexa, make me a breakfast”
- “Alexa, do you want to build a snowman”
- “Alexa, where do you live”
- “Alexa, which comes first, the chicken or the egg”
- “Alexa, who let the dogs out”
- “Alexa, horde”
- “Alexa, a light bulb joke”
- “Alexa, do you want to go on a date”
- “Alexa, pretend to be a super villain”
There are endless fun commands to get a humorous response from Alexa.
14: Basic Math Commands
You do not need a calculator for basic math functions. Here are some daily use math Alexa commands for elderly.
- “Alexa, Alexa what’s [number] plus [number]”
- “Alexa, what’s [number] times [number]”
- “Alexa, what’s [number] degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius”
- “Alexa, What’s the square root of [number]”
Older adults can use Alexa for daily life addition, subtraction, division, and other basic math calculations.
15: Random Alexa Commands
It is not possible to cover all Alexa commands in a single article. Alexa can help you with home automation, business, fire tv, sports scores other things.
Here is a list of random and simple Alexa commands for seniors that they can use on a daily basis.
- “Alexa, what’s the time/date/day”
- “Alexa, what time is it in [city name]”
- “Alexa, when’s Thanksgiving”
- “Alexa, what’s the capital of [country]”
- “Alexa, how tall is [person’s name]”
- “Alexa, let’s chat” or “Alexa, tell me a story”
- “Alexa, pick a random number between 1 to 50”
- “Alexa, give me a riddle”
- “Alexa, heads or tails” or “Alexa, flip a coin”
- “Alexa, random facts”
- “Alexa, rock, paper, scissors”
- “Alexa, what is the meaning of life”
- “Alexa, when is the end of the world”
- “Alexa, why is sky blue”
- “Alexa, how far is the moon”
- “Alexa, how many gallons of water are in the Atlantic Ocean”
- “Alexa, who won the best actor Oscar in 1973”
- “Alexa, tell me a fact about cats”
- “Alexa, what’s the quote of the day”
- “Alexa, when was Generation X born”
- “Alexa what’s the shortest word in the English language”
- “Alexa, help me relax”
- “Alexa, “what’s the normal blood sugar range”
- “Alexa, tell me a President’s Day fact”
- “Alexa, what’s the history behind new year’s resolutions”
- “Alexa how do you spell [word]” or “Alexa, what’s the definition of [word]”
- “Alexa find business hours for [business name]” or “Alexa, what’s the address of [business name]”
- “Alexa, how do I say how are you in Chinese”
- “Alexa, Wikipedia [subject]” to get Wikipedia information and ask “Alexa, tell me more” to continue
The above list shares some of the basic and simple Alexa commands for seniors to get the most out of their Alexa devices. Your Alexa device has many additional features and can help you with many other things.
Get Additional Alexa Features using Skills
Alexa comes with many built-in features that you can access using the above commands. There are some additional features, also known as “Skills”, that add additional functionality to your device.
Skills are like apps for smartphones and there are 150,000+ Alexa skills in 20+ categories.
You can enable or disable a skill using a voice command like “Alexa, enable/disable [skill name]”. Alternatively, use the Alexa app on your smartphone to enable/disable a skill.
- Open the Alexa App and tap the Menu at the top left corner (3 horizontal lines)
- Tap on the Skills and Games option in the drop-down menu
- Add a skill from Discover (recommendations and editor picks), Categories (by browsing different categories), or use the Search option to search the skill.
- You can tap on skills to learn more. Tap Enable to Use to enable the skill and tap on Save Permission and your new skill is enabled.
Once the skill is enabled, you can ask Alexa to use the skill. For example, “Alexa, ask Big Sky will it rain tomorrow” using the Big Sky skill.
Alexa Skills for Older Adults
Here are some of the Alexa skills to get you started.
- You can play plenty of games on your Alexa device. Start with Brain Workout, Heads Up!, Trivia Crack, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Jeopardy!.
- Ask My Buddy: This skill can help you alert someone in case you need some help. You can have several people assigned to the Ask My Buddy skill and alert them in times of need.
- Burglar Deterrent: This skill is designed to help protect your home from unwanted visitors when you are out.