This new Alexa feature allows families to safely care for loved ones at a distance

(BPT) – This year, more Americans are providing ongoing caregiving, with many having started their role as caregiver since the COVID-19 outbreak or providing care specifically because of the pandemic. Caregivers are looking to strike that balance between ensuring their elderly friends and family are safe and healthy while letting them maintain their independence. Yet, the need to limit contact by social distancing or self-quarantining has disrupted the ability to provide the hands-on care our loved ones deserve.

For that reason, families are looking for ways to help make remote caregiving easier. There’s now an option for both the family member providing support and their loved one leveraging the simplicity of Alexa.

The Care Hub helps families stay connected, no matter if they’re 3 or 3,000 miles apart. And, it’s available on Alexa-enabled devices that many customers already have, like Echo Dot and Echo Show. Once set up and approved by both the family member and loved one, they both simply go about their day as normal. The family member can get alerts and use the Alexa app to see their loved one’s recent activity at a high-level, so the aging loved one still has privacy while the person providing support has the information they need in order to know their loved one is OK. And their loved one has the added comfort of knowing they can ask for help at any time by just asking Alexa.

Care Hub offers a simple, unobtrusive way to care for loved ones remotely and stay connected at a time when many of us are not able to be with the ones we love. Here’s a quick look at how the Care Hub works.

It alerts you when something’s amiss: As the person providing support, you can set up alerts to get notifications when your loved one has their first interaction of the day with Alexa, or if no activity is detected by a designated time, such as 10 a.m.

Non-intrusive visibility on your loved one’s day: The goal of creating Care Hub was to give people only a high-level view of their loved one’s activities. When you look through the activity feed of the Care Hub, it shares only the basics. If your loved one streams a movie, asks for information or listens to music, you can see they were using Alexa for Entertainment or Information, but it won’t reveal the details like what your loved one asked Alexa. And, the loved one can always view this same information from the Care Hub in their Alexa app, too.

Convenient connection: When both parties have an Alexa-enabled device and grant permission to connect via the Care Hub, staying in touch is easy. With the Care Hub, you can initiate a hands-free call over morning coffee or use the Drop In feature as a two-way intercom for a quick check in. Daily contact is effortless.

Help is just a call away: Care Hub makes it easy to access help when your loved one needs it. As part of the Care Hub set up process, they can enable Alexa Communications and select you as their emergency contact. If your loved one selected you as their emergency contact, when they simply say, “Alexa, call for help,” you’ll get a call on your Alexa-enabled device, and you’ll also get a text and push notification sent to your phone. So even if you’re out and about, you’ll know your loved one has reached out.

Care Hub is free of charge and is available with the Alexa app. To learn more, visit amazon.com/carehub.

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