Living Plus Later Life schemes trial ‘Alexa’

Residents at two Living Plus schemes are benefiting from voice-controlled technology. 

In March, Rivington House in Bolton and Briary Court in Chorley had an Amazon Echo ‘Alexa’ provided by Living Plus in their communal rooms for a three-month trial.

The residents are learning how to use the device to play music, listen to the news, play games and hold quizzes in the lounge, encouraging them to take part in social activities with their neighbours.

As a direct result of seeing the technology in action and learning how to use it, some of the residents at Rivington House bought similar devices for their own flats.  One resident asks her Alexa to wake her up in the morning and remind her to take her tablets.

Steve Sinnott, Head of Research and Service Development at Places for People said: “This type of assistive technology enables people to remain independent and sustain their tenancies for longer. We’ve found customers enjoy asking Alexa, it’s well used and helps improve social and digital inclusion for customers. We have also created a Living Plus Skill (App) for the device which will provide information for users about how to access Places for People online services.”

Following the success of this initiative, we will be trialling the Echo device in a customer’s flat to see what benefits it can bring and how it compares to the benefits of using the device in a communal setting.

In June, when the trial ends, the Amazon Echos will be gifted to the schemes as a thank you for taking part, so they can continue to benefit from using them.

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