Assistive Technology Enhances Independent Living

In my September 13th blog post, Robots: A Good Idea for Caregiving? I stated that I would use a robot as an assistive device just like a cane, walker, or Emergency Response System.  To take that one step further, I would use any type of assistive technology that would enhance my ability to live in my home more independently. 

In a November 17, 2020, Advocate for Mom and Dad post:
Surprise! Mom loves her Echo Dot and often tells me what Alexa said to her that day, Debra Hallisey talks about how Assistive technology can make a huge difference in the life of your elder.

It was just last year that Debra Hallisey was having trouble getting her mother to have an Echo Dot in her home.  (I’m sure many seniors are technology resistant—I know I am!) But with multiple conversations over time—using what Debra describes as the “drip method”—(plus the opportunity to try the device out with a free trial offer), her Mom relented. Debra now reports that the Echo Dot made life so much easier for her mother that she now has three more of them in her home.  It has given her a sense of independence that had slowly eroded over the years as her mobility and health declined.

Debra identifies the several features that her mother loves about the Echo Dot. It allows her to:

  • turn lights on and off by voice command
  • listen to music, the news, and books on tape on the nights she finds it difficult to sleep
  • keep her shopping list
  • serve as a timer
  • remind her to take medications

“I never expected my mother to take to assistive technology like she has and to discover on her own uses that help her which I never envisioned.”

Assistive Technology Can Give Your Elder Independence and Help Social Isolation – Advocate for Mom & Dad (

The lesson in this for me and I hope you, is that our elders can change and adapt to technology when they find a reason to use it and especially when it makes their life easier or helps to keep them engaged.

Debra Hallisey

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