Setting Up Amazon Alexa as an Emergency Device for Independent-Living Elderly Parents

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As our parents age, their desire for independence often remains strong. However, ensuring their safety and well-being is a top priority for their adult children. One solution that strikes a balance between independence and safety is setting up an Amazon Alexa device as an emergency tool for elderly parents. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up Alexa to provide peace of mind for both you and your aging loved ones.

  1. Choose the Right Alexa Device

There are several Alexa-enabled devices available, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. Consider your parents’ needs and preferences when selecting a device. For example, the Echo Show has a built-in screen, which may be helpful for video calls and displaying information. On the other hand, the Echo Dot is a more affordable option with a smaller footprint.

  1. Set Up the Device in Their Home

Once you’ve chosen the right device, it’s time to set it up in your parents’ home. Follow these steps:

a. Plug in the device and wait for it to power on.
b. Download the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.
c. Sign in with your Amazon account or create a new one.
d. Follow the in-app instructions to connect the device to Wi-Fi.
e. Set the device’s location to enable accurate local information, such as weather and news updates.

  1. Enable Alexa Together

Alexa Together is a service that connects caregivers and seniors through their Amazon devices. It offers features like personalized medication reminders and the ability to check in on your loved ones. To enable Alexa Together:

a. Open the Alexa app and tap on “More” in the bottom right corner.
b. Select “Settings” and then “Account Settings.”
c. Tap on “Alexa Together” and follow the prompts to set up the service.

  1. Set Up Emergency Contacts

In case of an emergency, it’s crucial to have a list of contacts that your parents can reach with a simple voice command. To set up emergency contacts:

a. Open the Alexa app and tap on “Communicate.”
b. Select “Contacts” and then tap on the “+” icon to add a new contact.
c. Enter the contact’s name, phone number, and relationship to your parent.
d. Repeat this process for all emergency contacts.

  1. Teach Your Parents How to Use Alexa

Take the time to teach your parents how to use their new Alexa device. Demonstrate basic commands, such as:

  • “Alexa, call [contact name].”
  • “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”
  • “Alexa, set a reminder to take my medication at 8 AM.”

Encourage them to practice using the device and answer any questions they may have.

  1. Set Up Routines for Emergencies

Create custom routines that can be triggered in case of an emergency. For example, you can set up a routine that sends a notification to your phone when your parent says, “Alexa, I need help.” To create a routine:

a. Open the Alexa app and tap on “More” in the bottom right corner.
b. Select “Routines” and then tap on the “+” icon to create a new routine.
c. Choose a trigger, such as a specific voice command.
d. Add actions, like sending a notification to your phone or calling a designated contact.
e. Save the routine and test it to ensure it works as intended.

  1. Consider Additional Skills and Integrations

There are numerous Alexa skills and integrations available that can further enhance your parents’ safety and well-being. Some examples include:


Setting up an Amazon Alexa device as an emergency tool for your independent-living elderly parents can provide peace of mind and help ensure their safety. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create a customized solution that meets your parents’ needs and allows them to maintain their independence.