Visiting Angels Introduces Artificial Intelligence to Keep Older Adults Safe and Independent at Home
Anyone living alone can now get access to a personal voice assistant that calls for help if you fall, reminds you to take your meds, plays your favorite music and interactive games, and connects you with family and friends without needing Wi-Fi or even a telephone.
Visiting Angels, the nation’s leading provider of in-home care, is the first to install voice activated artificial intelligence from Amazon’s Alexa into the homes of clients. The technology helps keep older adults safe with a round-the-clock voice assistant, with a fun personality, that keeps them connected with family, friends and caregivers. All you have to say is “Alexa, call for help!” or “Alexa, call my daughter Karen” or “Alexa, let’s play Jeopardy!”
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This purpose-built solution is called Constant Companion, a first-of-its-kind personal emergency and companion system that works hands-free with Amazon’s Alexa. We invite you to experience how this voice-activated virtual assistant works. It’s a revolutionary gamechanger for the caregiving industry and for families who need to monitor and communicate with loved ones that might be more vulnerable.
“We are very excited to join forces with the voice technology experts at Constant Companion to put this amazing product in the homes of seniors across the country,” says Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels. “The team at Constant Companion invented a system that puts a modernized spin on the ‘Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up’ medical alert technology. They’ve created a companion tool for Alexa that provides services specifically tailored to seniors that they can use without technical skills of any type or even home Wi-Fi. By adding this device to our list of caregiving tools, we are enhancing the services we already provide to thousands of American families, especially when it comes to emergency calls for help and keeping relatives informed and involved in the lives of their elderly loved ones.”
“We are honored and humbled to be invited into the homes of the families who Visiting Angels serves across the nation,” says Mark Gray, the founder and President of Constant Companion. “We hope our platform, specifically designed for those living alone, creates a safer environment and moments of joy. Constant Companion helps seniors respond to Alexa in a physical and emotional way, by exercising their mind, body and spirit, each and every day. Our system is really making an impact on their quality of life.”
How Constant Companion Works
Visiting Angels caregivers are trained to help families program the system with their clients’ favorite activities and teach them how it can improve their daily life.
- Plug and Play: Constant Companion is programmed to work on any Amazon Alexa enabled device including with Echo Dot speakers. The speakers look just like what millions of other people have in their homes today. The difference is that Constant Companion’s technology team provides a concierge experience; customizing every system to fit the unique needs of each senior. The speakers work just like other Alexa devices, you can play games, get weather reports, listen to music, with one exception: you cannot shop online. High-speed, Wi-Fi service and battery back-up is included from Constant Companion.
- Concerned about Privacy? Constant Companion operates on an independent, secure network, totally separate than what Amazon uses for its operations. Each user is 100% anonymized, and your identity locked down behind HIPAA compliant encryption and security. Companion further protects its users with a one million dollar cybersecurity, privacy protection guarantee, backed by Lloyds of London.
- Lightning Fast: When you say “Alexa, call for help,” you’re connected to a Constant Companion emergency response operator within ten seconds. That’s three times faster than competitors on average. Operators are located at Constant Companion’s 5 Diamond rated, US-based, urgent response centers. They immediately recognize you and your address and can alert local first responders if you need help.
- Daily Care Calls: You can schedule a daily check in call with Constant Companion. A live operator will contact you at a certain time to make sure you are okay and to see if there is anything you need.
- Customized Calling: The team at Constant Companion adds family telephone numbers to the system ahead of time, so you can just speak up when you want to call your son or grandchild, simply by saying, “Alexa, call John” or “Alexa, call Susie.”
- Never forget: You can tell Alexa when you need to take medication, and she will speak out and remind you at that time. A few minutes later, she will even ask, “Did you take your medicine?” just to make sure.
- Room-to-Room Communication: You can use the speakers as an intercom system inside your home. It’s a great way for caregivers and seniors to talk to each other if they are in separate rooms, like the kitchen and bedroom.
- Engage and Entertain: Alexa will never leave you bored or lonely. You can ask her to play music from your favorite genre, ask her the day’s news or even to play interactive games such as Jeopardy and Who Wants to be A Millionaire?Constant Companion in Action
Visiting Angels franchisee Connie Nelson was one of the first to test Constant Companion for the company. “We installed our first Constant Companion caregiving system in the home of a man who is confined to his bed, so his daily activities are quite limited,” Nelson explained. “We knew about his love for music, and we programmed the system to play his favorite barbershop quartets. When we said ‘Alexa, play a barbershop quartet,’ and it played his favorite song, his face lit up like a toddler opening a Christmas gift! it was one of the most amazing reactions I have ever seen during my time working with seniors.”
More than one hundred Visiting Angels agencies across the nation are now using Constant Companion in the homes of seniors and caregivers are seeing benefits, too.
Birth of New Technology for the Senior Tsunami
The U.S. has 50 million seniors, age 65 and up, 16 percent of the population. 12 million of these seniors live at home alone.
Mark Gray, a veteran federal government cybersecurity expert, recognized the need for a better senior monitoring solution after caring for his own mother. When asked to wear one of those push-button medical alert necklaces, and like many people, she said, “I love you son, but I am never going to wear one of those things. “explains Gray. “After doing a little digging, I found out that the majority of seniors who subscribe to these alert buttons forget or refuse to wear them, making them useless when they need them most, so I started searching for an alternative.”
Gray’s search guided him to a platform that combined artificial intelligence, voice technology and automation that he named Constant Companion. Visiting Angels is the first in-home care company in the nation to launch the system nationwide.
- We invite you to come along as we introduce Constant Companion to seniors and their families to show how it improves their quality of life.
- Interview our senior-care experts and seniors about the many benefits of living with a Constant Companion, including a step-by-step demonstration.