Speak2 Software will be offering its voice technology platform for free to seniors living at home and in assisted living communities during the coronavirus pandemic to help residents stay connected to loved ones, caregivers, and facility managers while in isolation.
The software pairs with in-unit smart speaker devices letting seniors make voice commands and send and receive messages.
“This is a frightening moment for everyone – but it’s especially scary for those who are elderly or those who have an elderly loved one. We realized our tech can be the bridge between seniors and the people they love while the world is quarantined,” said Matt Smith, CEO of Speak2 Software in a news release. “Speak2 simply empowers seniors by giving them an easy way to connect with loved ones, ask for help, and signal emergency services by simply saying so out loud – no swiping, reading, or screens required!”
Its integrated voice technology integrates with a senior’s address book, letting them connect with friends or family through voice command calls or speak to text functions, without the difficulty of locating or using a phone. This has been particularly helpful at a time when most senior communities are prohibiting visitors due to health concerns. Loneliness and mental health already impact senior citizens at disproportionate levels, so engagement during this time is critical.
“We are very excited to be working with Speak2 to bring technology to a senior-friendly level,” said Andrea Walls a staff member at Reformed Church Home in Old Bridge, New Jersey, in the same news release. “The Echo Dot installations at Reformed Church Home will provide another source of comfort and engagement during this scary and isolating time. We so appreciate Speak2’s integrity and genuine willingness to help our seniors at this unprecedented time in their lives.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the U.S., Reformed Church Home and Sycamore Senior Living have signed on for the free offering, receiving donated Echo Dot devices from Amazon. Now more than 100 seniors have access to the tech. Regency Pacific, a national brand of senior communities and English Meadows, a Virginia-based company with 8 Communities, previously rolled out Speak2 to their residents.
The platform also connects to the community’s management, allowing residents to state-specific issues or requests and routing commands to the intended teams or people, such as management, maintenance, nursing, etc. Even more, it alerts families of these very same requests, so they know exactly what is going on with their loved ones. This not only enables more efficient management of resources, but it enables predictive analytics to drive better planning and staff behaviors.
The Speak2 system connects to unit thermostats, lights, and electronics, eliminating the need for remotes and minimizing the risk of injury due to a fall. Seniors can also use voice commands to access entertainment through audiobooks or TV control and can set reminders for medications or appointments. The system can also be used to monitor movements in and out of certain areas to help track medical issues, like mobility, nutrition, or lavatory visits.
In addition to the free offering for senior living facilities, Speak2 has rolled out a public offering through an app, called Speak2 Family, allowing individual seniors in independent living situations to utilize the tech at home. They are also recruiting groups of students and volunteers to send messages to seniors who might lack family to check in with during this time.
One of the volunteers had her daughters sing songs: “The seniors are so happy and uplifted to hear the kids voices, hearing the kids voices is absolutely precious and they are so grateful!”
Source: Speak2 Software