What Is a Digital Assistant?

Digital assistants are small, always-on devices that perform voice-enabled tasks. Also known as front-facing devices, they include Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. These devices have microphones and speakers to hear commands from people in the same room or across the room.

Digital assistants can be helpful for seniors living in assisted living apartments. These voice-activated gadgets use artificial intelligence technology to help seniors get things done by typing out words for them or by controlling their home lights, drones, or appliances. They are easy to learn and use at any time of day or night.

What Are Digital Assistants Capable of Doing?

Digital assistants can perform tasks such as the following:

Answer Questions About the Weather, Traffic, or the News.

Digital assistants can offer the local weather forecast and report traffic and construction updates. For example, Alexa can give current local weather conditions in your area and tell you if there are any delays on your daily commute.

Set Reminders That Remind Users to Take Their Pills or Watch What They Eat.

Digital assistants can remind seniors to take their medication or to drink water. These voice-enabled reminders can be set while you are at work and when you are away from home. For example, Amazon Alexa reminders can be activated at certain intervals during the day or when the senior is away from home.

Help Seniors Cook Meals Without Having to Use a Stove or Do Dishes by Using Recipes Stored in the Digital Assistant’s Memory.

Digital assistants like Alexa can let seniors cook and bake simply by reading recipes stored in the digital assistant’s memory. For example, Alexa reads a person’s favorite recipes to confirm that they are in the digital assistant’s memory. Then, the voice-enabled gadget will tell them what they need to do next.

Play Music or the Radio.

Digital assistants can play music and perform radio functions like tuning in to a local station or setting the alarm. These can be helpful for seniors who want entertainment, such as listening to music or even playing fun brain games, such as Jeopardy. 

Send Text Messages, Emails, and Other Messages From Seniors to Family or Friends.

Digital assistants can send instant messages to friends and relatives, which can be very helpful for seniors who want to communicate with family or friends by sending them a text message or email. For example, Apple Siri can help a senior write an email, choose the right emoji, or respond to a colleague’s message.

Remind Seniors When to Go to the Doctor and Remind Them When Their Medicines Have Expired.

Digital assistants can remind people when they have appointments with their doctor or dentist so they cannot forget to go. They can also remind seniors that their pain medicine should be taken and weaned off before it expires.

Turn on the Lights, Dim Lights, or Change the Interior or Exterior Temperature of a Home.

Digital assistants can control everything in a house using voice commands, including turning on lights, locking doors, and opening windows. For example, Siri can control the lights in a house and turn them on or off. Some digital assistants can adjust the temperature to make it comfortable for seniors.

Turn Appliances on and off Within the Home or Even Other Devices in the Home.

Digital assistant users do not have to walk across a room to turn on a lamp or adjust the thermostat when they want to do so. For example, a senior or their roommates in an assisted living apartment can say “Hey Siri,” and this AI can help them stay comfortable.

Control Home Appliances Like a TV, Hi-Fi, or Air Conditioning System.

Digital assistants can control home appliances such as the television, stereo system, and Air Conditioning unit. For example, Alexa can set the temperature in a room or turn on the lights.

Make Online Payments and Check Bank Account Balances From Home.

Digital assistants like Alexa can send money or a message to people directly from the bank account of an assisted living apartment resident. For example, if an assisted living apartment resident needs money in their bank accounts, they can send money by voice command.

Make Phone Calls Without Using a Phone or Intercom System.

Digital assistants can make and receive phone calls at home without having to go to a phone or intercom system to talk.

A digital assistant sits on a coffee table in a living room at senior assisted living apartments

Why Should We Consider Digital Assistants for Seniors?

Digital Assistants Can Help Seniors Stay Independent

One of the reasons why seniors move from their homes to assisted living apartments is because they are no longer capable of caring for themselves. However, digital assistants can help seniors stay independent and continue to live on their own by doing daily tasks like reminding them to take their medicine or even controlling the thermostat in their rooms. This device will also remind them of appointments and the news headlines.

Digital Assistants Can Make Life Easier for Roommates in an Assisted Living Apartment

Digital assistants can help seniors do a majority of the tasks required in their daily lives. For example, digital assistants can give reminders to get ready for work. But what if one roommate is taking longer than usual to get ready? Digital assistants can help roommates with things such as making coffee or setting the thermostat, so one roommate doesn’t have to spend their time waiting for the other roommate to do it.

Digital Assistants Can Be Used Anywhere and Are Portable

Anywhere in an assisted living apartment where Wi-Fi can be found, digital assistants like Alexa can work. That means a senior or a family member won’t have to go far to complete tasks like setting reminders for their tablets, reading the weather forecast, and answering questions about the news.


In this modern world full of technology, digital assistants can make life more convenient for seniors. Voice-activated digital assistants are a great way for caregivers to work with their seniors. They can do a lot of tasks, from making the seniors more independent and comfortable to helping them remain in the assisted living apartments. These small gadgets are not only great for seniors but also create convenience for those around them.