YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- You may have heard of an Amazon Echo Dot.
It’s a small device that can do anything from play music to read the news. Amazon is donating 500 of them to low-income seniors in the Valley.
This effort is being made possible by the nonprofit Ohio Living and the Senior Support Action Group. These Echoes are a way of reducing risks to seniors at home. Special programming allows seniors to call pre-programmed contacts.
This can be anyone from family members to emergency numbers. All of this is possible just by using your voice.
“It really removes the challenges of technology when you can just talk to it and ask it to do systems. So we are seeing we’re seeing this just across the nation,” said Wendy Price-Kiser Ohio Living Home Health and Hospice.
Since it’s voice-activated, seniors can ask the Echo Dot just about anything. Finding out information about taxes, what the weather is like for the day. A big reason why this program was started was to help seniors who may be in isolation.
Kiser also says the Echoes can enhance senior citizens’ peace of mind and independence. Around 15 have been installed so far. Senior Support Action Group says the response has been positive.
Some seniors may be feeling lonely at times. These Amazon Echo Dots can act like a friend for them in a way.
“A lot of seniors are living in this loneliness epidemic, and this is just a voice that they can talk to you. You can ask Alexa any question. Hopefully, they can also access resources,” said Jillian Maynard of Senior Support Action Group.
Some people are using the Echo Dots for fun things. One person has it read Bible verses daily to her.
You can call Senior Support Action Group at 330-424-7877 to find out if you’re eligible for an Echo Dot.