EDUCATE looked at how people with dementia used Amazon Dot Echo (Alexa) and what benefits or difficulties they experienced. The group felt that technology such as Alexa has the potential to be useful for people with dementia.
Eighteen interested people with dementia were provided with an Alexa. People were supported to identify meaningful interests/tasks relating to the things they wanted. Individual support was given to people with dementia to explore Alexa. Qualitative feedback was recorded about how people felt using Alexa.
The project found that those who got the most benefit from using Alexa were those with poor short-term memory, but no language or visual problems. Those people with problems using or understanding language or meaning benefitted the least. They concluded that Alexa has a lot to offer many people with dementia. But she is only as good as the support around her. Alexa needs to become more accessible and the necessary support systems need to be better understood.