Add new comment

Good article but it didn't cover the reasons I find Alexa so helpful so I will expand on those ideas here.
I'm 69 years old and my husband is 76. In the last year and a half, I have had two total hip replacements, COVID, and been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I highly recommend being adept at Alexa BEFORE you undergo anything so life altering. And since we never know when something will happen, best to get it set up now while you still have the capacity to do it.
The primary reason I got the Echo Show was because of brain fog. I couldn't keep track of anything and was always losing things; it came down to learning the tech or losing my mind. Here are some of the ways I use my Show.

1) Routines.
Sleep seems to be an issue as we age and it is a particular problem accompanying fibromyalgia. Dimming lights, playing sleep frequencies, and turning on the humidifier helps me drop off to dreamland and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Alexa reminds me to stretch. In the morning I use an app for my phone called "Gentle Wakeup" which increases the volume of twittering birds and brightness of light over a 20 minute period. Echo Show kicks in after that with morning wake up frequencies, turning on a dim lamp, lighting up the homepage with day and date. That is also prayer time for me. Alexa reminds me to stretch and tells me what is on my calendar for the day. A brighter lamp is turned on, the humidifier is off, I make the bed and stretch. Then I listen to coffee shop jazz while I get dressed and make breakfast.
2) Playlists. In Amazon music I have set up playlists for my different levels of activity, from energizing to winding down at night. Saying "Alexa, play Office Playlist" is much faster than scrolling through and picking music to suit your mood.
3) Devices. I downloaded the Gosund app to my phone and ordered surge protectors bars and single outlets that I can control with Echo Show. So far I have set up my bedroom and my parlor. (You can name the location of your devices and group them, as well as setting them up in their own routine.) I have Alexa on my Kindle and of course, my phone, besides Echo Show and a couple of Echo Flexes which I will probably use in the kitchen and library..
4) Calendar.
I have also connected my Google Calendar to Alexa, and then shared my Calendar with my husband. This means that I have backup checks out the wazoo so it will be much harder for me to miss an event! Eventually I will figure out how to share with my kids, on a limited basis, as a less obtrusive way they can check up on us. "Alexa, what's on my calendar today?"
5) Lists.
I am always thinking of things I need to do when I am busy doing something else. Unless I stop what I am doing and write it down, I will forget. I even get distracted when I have to go find my pen and paper! Now I can just say, "Alexa, put celery on my grocery list," or "Alexa, put insurance cards on my Jim meeting list." Just speak up! Later I can say, "Alexa, show me my shopping list," and whether I am in my basement office or the grocery store, there it is, right in front of me.
I use Alexa for reminders that pop into my mind, or habits I want to establish. Like "stretching" or "Alexa, remind me to schedule my Reiki appointment," I can just speak it outloud and Echo Show makes a list for me. "Alexa, what are my reminders for today?"
7) Communication.
There are many ways to "phone-o-vision" these days but they all seem too complicated to me! How about if I just say, "Alexa, call Tommy," and then I can talk to my grandson and see him. I have not done this yet but I am looking forward to it.

There are two other huge helpers I have incorporated in the last week.
First, I got the TILE starter set and put finders in my tote bag, in my wallet (which is more or less a fanny pack/small purse), and on my keys. In the morning when I get dressed, I put on my fanny pack. This holds my keys, debit card, cash, license, insurance cards, lip gloss, my "brain fog" e.o. inhaler, a disposable mask, my phone, a pen, and my eyeglass case. I don't take off that fanny pack until I put on my jammies at night. Before I started doing this I left a trail of things behind me and had no idea where I left them. My tote has all the other paraphenalia that I need to haul around with me.
Second, I am wearing my FitBit. It is tremendously helpful in building up activity level after an operation or illness. As we get older, being comfortable in an electric recliner can become your hardest goal. But we know what it takes to be healthy. We need to get out of that chair and MOVE. A FitBit can help with that. I am also looking into something like the Apple or Galaxy watch, which could be invaluable as I age because of the additional monitors, like heart, blood pressure, locator, and falls.
In summary, I have found that Alexa and my Echo Show allow me better organization and as a result, less anxiety. This in turn helps me to accomplish more and gives me more free time to do the things I want to do, not just the things I need to do.
I hope this is helpful.