Alexa is loaded with senior-friendly features to keep older adults informed, connected, and entertained. Once the Alexa device is set up, there are plenty of Alexa commands, features and skills to help seniors get the most out of their device.
This article shares some of the best Alexa tips for seniors to help them customize their devices and use them to their fullest.
20 Alexa Tips for Seniors
If you are wondering what can Alexa do for seniors, here are the 20 best Alexa tips and tricks for elderly including some hidden features and some basic tweaks to help you get started with your Alexa.
1: Change Your Device’s Name
If you have someone in your house called “Alex”, “Alexia” or a similar name, you may get Alexa’s attention when you call the person’s name. To avoid confusion (or just for fun), you have the option to change Alexa’s wake word.
Change your Alexa device’s name using the following instructions.
- Open the Alexa App on your phone
- Tap on the Devices option at the bottom navigation bar
- Tap Echo and Alexa and choose your device
- Tap the Settings gear icon
- Tap on the Wake Word and choose the alternate word from the options
You can now get your device’s attention by calling it the new name.
You can also use voice commands to change the name.
- Ask “Alexa, can you change your name?” or “Alexa, change your wake word”.
- Alexa will respond “I can help you change the wake word for this device, should we do that now?”. Reply with “yes”.
- Alexa will respond “OK, you can choose from Amazon, Computer, Echo. Which of these would you like”.
- Speak the name that you want to call your device and Alexa will respond “OK, you can call me [new name] on this device in a few seconds”
2: Get Alexa to Call You a Different Name
You have the option to change the name Alexa calls you. Whether you want to use the nickname, real name, or something funny to have a laugh every time you hear it.
Follow these steps to change the name Alexa calls you.
- Open the Alexa App
- Tap on the Communication section at the bottom navigation bar
- Tap the Profile icon (tiny person in the upper right corner of the screen)
- On the next window, tap My Communications Settings underneath your name
- Tap Edit at the upper right corner
- Change your first name and tap Save at the upper right corner
The name change is done. You can ask “Alexa, what’s my name?” and Alexa will respond confirming your name.
The name will appear on Alexa’s features and your public profile so keep that in mind when you choose a silly name.
3: Share Greetings with Alexa
If you share greetings with Alexa like “Alexa, good morning” or “Alexa, good evening”, you will get some entertaining and fun responses from Alexa.
In the morning, you will mostly get motivational quotes, and in the afternoon a mix of some motivational statements and handy tips.
4: Turn Off Alexa’s Microphone
Alexa device is always listening to you and respond when you say the word “Alexa”. If you don’t want the device to wake and respond to you. You can press the mute button to turn off the microphone.
A red-light ring will appear confirming the microphone is off. Press the button again to unmute.
On Echo Show devices, you can turn both camera and microphones off by pressing a single button.
5: Make Alexa Speak Slower or Faster
If you find Alexa’s speed too fast or too slow for your liking, you have the option to adjust the speech speed according to your preference. You can choose from seven-speed settings: Alexa’s standard speaking rate, four faster speaking rates, and two slower speaking rates.
Use the following commands to make the changes.
- “Alexa, speak slower” to reduce the speech speed
- “Alexa, speak faster” to increase speech speed
You can repeat the command multiple times to make Alexa speak even slower or faster. To reset Alexa’s default speaking rate, ask “Alexa, speak at your default rate”.
This is one of the useful Alexa tips for seniors who have difficulty understanding Alexa’s voice.
6: Make Alexa Whisper
Alexa has a whisper mode which can be a useful feature at night time when you don’t want to disturb others. You can enable the whisper mode using a voice command “Alexa, turn on whisper mode” or using the Alexa app.
When enabled, Alexa will whisper back when you whisper a question. If you use your normal voice, Alexa will also respond normally.
You can turn off the whisper mode by asking “Alexa, turn off the whisper mode”.
7: Turn your Alexa into a Bluetooth Speaker
Alexa Echo speakers and Echo Show devices come with Bluetooth. You can use Bluetooth connectivity to turn your Alexa device into a Bluetooth speaker.
To connect the Alexa device to your phone, say “Alexa, pair” and Alexa will look for the discoverable devices (Note: Make sure Bluetooth is turned on in your phone’s settings and is discoverable by other devices).
For Echo Show devices, swipe down the top of the screen and tap Settings and then tap Bluetooth. Here you can pair it with your phone.
You can also pair it from your phone. Go to your phone’s Bluetooth settings and look for the Alexa device in the list (after saying “Alexa, pair”). Tap the Alexa from discovered devices and tap Pair when prompted. You should hear a chimp and Alexa response “Now connected to [your phone]”. You can say “Alexa, disconnect Bluetooth” to disconnect.
Alexa will now serve as a speaker for your phone.
You can also connect Bluetooth headphones with your Alexa device to listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts without disturbing others. Alexa devices can also act as speakers for your tv (if you have a TV with Bluetooth capability) so you can hear the TV better.
8: Start a Countdown
You can set alarms or reminders on your Alexa device but Alexa can also help you if you want to know how many days you have until a specific date.
Ask “Alexa, how many days until April 1” or “Alexa, how many days until Thanksgiving”.
9: Fine Tune the Music
You can adjust the volume, bass, mid-range, and treble tones of your music. Here are some voice command examples.
- “Alexa, set the volume to 5”, “Alexa turn up/down the volume” or “Alexa, play folk music at 7”
- “Alexa, set the bass to 5”
- “Alexa, set the treble to 6”
Alexa has volume on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the loudest.
These Alexa tips for seniors help to fine-tune the music and audio settings according to your liking.
10: Delete Alexa’s Voice History
Alexa records the voice commands and conversations to improve her voice recognition and remember your preferences. Amazon’s human quality control team also uses these recordings to ensure Alexa’s accuracy.
You can periodically erase your voice commands history if you do not want someone listening to your conversation with Alexa.
You can ask “Alexa, delete everything I said today” to delete the day’s voice history. To delete the entire Alexa recordings history, use the Alexa app on your phone.
- Open the Alexa app and click on More (3 horizontal lines)
- Tap Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History
- Tap the downward-facing arrow next to Displaying and then the arrow next to Filter by date.
- Select All History and tap Delete all my recordings
All your voice recordings are now deleted.
11: Turn your Echo Show into a Security Camera
This feature works with Echo Show devices. You can go on the Alexa app on your phone and view what’s going on, through the Echo Show device’s camera.
To use the feature, follow these steps.
- Swipe down from the top of your Echo Show screen
- Tap Settings and tap on Camera from the list
- Enable the Home Monitoring option
That’s it. Now follow these steps to view from your Echo Show device’s camera using your phone.
- Open the Alexa App and tap on Devices (at the bottom navigation bar)
- Tap on the Echo & Alexa on the top left and then tap your device from the list
- Tap on the Camera option here to see the live view
A notification will appear on the Echo Show about live view with an option to stop the view anytime.
This can be a useful feature when seniors are out of the house and want to catch a live view.
12: Set an Emergency Contact
Out of all the Alexa tips and tricks for elderly, safety features are the most important and can be lifesavers in certain situations. The Emergency Contact feature allows you to designate one of your contacts as an emergency contact that you can contact in time of emergency.
Use the following steps to set up an emergency contact using Alexa App.
- Tap Communication on the bottom navigation bar on the Alexa app
- Tap on the Contact icon (two people at the upper right corner)
- Search and select your preferred emergency contact. Slide to the bottom and select Add as Emergency Contact option
Confirm the popup message and the person you selected as the emergency contact will receive a text message notifying them that they are added as your emergency contact.
Once the emergency contact is set up, you can use a simple voice command like “Alexa, call for help” or “Alexa, call my emergency contact”. Alexa will call and text your emergency contact notifying them that you need help.
This is the best Alexa feature for seniors who live alone and may need help in case of an emergency like suffering a fall. Alexa enables older adults to get help hands-free in time of need.
Related Article: Use Alexa to monitor elderly parents
13: Use your Alexa to Find your Phone
Alexa can help the elderly to locate their phone if they forget where it is. Just ask your device “Alexa, find my phone”. Alexa will call your phone and you can follow the ring sound to find your phone.
This feature works when the Alexa app is installed on your phone. It is much better than asking your family member or friend to call on your phone. Seniors need this feature a lot and Alexa doesn’t get irritated no matter how many times you ask the same question.
14: Change Alexa’s Voice
You can choose Alexa’s voice between the feminine (the original) or the masculine option. Just ask your device “Alexa, change your voice” and the device will respond with the new voice. You can change back to the feminine voice by asking again “Alexa, change your voice”.
To do so using the Alexa app, follow these steps
- Tap Devices at the bottom navigation bar
- Tap Echo & Alexa on the top left
- Tap on the device name that you want to change the voice for
- Tap the Settings option on the top right and change between the original (feminine) and New (masculine) voices.
You can always change back the voice by repeating the above method.
15: Use Screen Magnifier for Better Readability
If you are using Echo Show devices, you can use Screen Magnifier for a better reading experience and zoom in to see small details.
- Swipe from the top of the screen on Echo Show and tap on Settings
- Go to Accessibility > Screen Magnifier
- Enable the Screen Magnifier option and press OK to finish
You can now triple-tap the screen to start/stop the magnification. You can also drag two fingers to pan, and pinch in/ out with 2 fingers to change the zoom level.
16: Use Alexa Device as Night Light
If you wake up in the middle of the night, it can be annoying to fumble for a light switch. You can turn your Alexa device into a night light by asking “Alexa, turn on the night light”. The light will turn on, providing enough illumination to help you move around.
This is one of the useful Alexa tips for seniors if they forget to turn on the night light. No more stumbling in the dark. You can ask “Alexa, turn on the night light for 10 minutes” to automatically switch off the light after 10 minutes.
17: Do Quick Math
Seniors do not need to use calculators for everyday addition, subtraction, division and other basic calculations. It is easier to read the numbers than typing. Ask Alexa questions and get instant results.
Here are some examples.
- “Alexa, what’s [number 1] plus [number 2]?”
- “Alexa, what’s 24% of 4500?”
- “Alexa, what’s [number 1] degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius?”
- “Alexa, what’s the square root of [number]”
These simple math capabilities make Alexa devices ideal for everyday calculations.
18: Ask Alexa Spellings/Meaning of a Word
This is another Alexa tip for older adults that they can use in everyday life to get some help from Alexa. If you are confused about the spelling of a word, ask Alexa and Alexa will spell it for you.
Simply ask “Alexa, spell [word]/ define [word]” for a quick response. This is also a useful trick to get the meaning of any new word you come across. A nice little trick to save you time and get the instant answer.
Tip: Ask Alexa about the longest word in the English language for some fun. Alexa will also define the longest word for you.
19: Ask Alexa to Sing or Tell you a Joke
You can do loads of cool things with Alexa to have some fun. Whether you enjoy rap or want a moment of praise, Alexa can sing you a song.
Here are some examples to explore Alexa’s musical talent.
- “Alexa, give me a rap”
- “Alexa, sing a song about cats”
- “Alexa, sing a blues song”
- “Alexa, beatbox for me”
You can simply ask “Alexa, tell me a joke” or ask Alexa to tell a joke about animals, coffee, light bulbs, Jimmy Fallon, ghosts, grandpas and the list goes on.
20: Fun Things to Ask Alexa
Let us end the list of Alexa tips and tricks for elderly with some cool and fun things you can ask Alexa.
- “Alexa, drum roll please”
- “Alexa, do aliens exist”
- “Alexa, do you have pets”
- “Alexa, what is the value of pi”
- “Alexa, how much do you weigh”
- “Alexa, testing 1,2,3”
- “Alexa, can you give me some money”
- “Alexa, beam me up”
- “Alexa, make a sandwich”
- “Alexa, do you know Siri”
- “Alexa, find Chuck Norris”
- “Alexa, how old are you”
These commands will give you some hilarious responses.
There you have it, the top 20 Alexa tips for seniors. I hope you have found some incredible features in the above list.
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