Amazon today announced a new subscription service called “Alexa Together,” designed for families with aging family members who are still living independently, but who may need extra support. The $19.99 per month subscription expands on Amazon’s existing product, Alexa Care Hub, an earlier investment in elder care, by taking many of Care Hub’s features and adding on new protections, like an urgent response feature and access to a professional emergency helpline.
The company in November 2020 first introduced Care Hub, an option in the Alexa mobile app, which has allowed family members to keep an eye on older parents and loved ones — with their permission — in order to receive general information about their activities and to be alerted if the loved one has called out for help.
With Alexa Together, family members can continue to access features like care alerts, which are designed to keep family members in the loop when an aging family member asks Alexa for help.
Starting early next year, Alexa Together will also make it possible for multiple people to provide support for a loved one — which is useful in situations where siblings may split the duties of caring for mom or dad, for example. Even nearby neighbors could be added to the support system, so they could check on a customer’s family member in the case of an emergency.
Caregivers can also do things like set up reminders on loved ones’ devices or link to a music service so they can easily play their favorite songs, Amazon says. And they can add contacts to the family member’s Alexa account, so they can call friends and family hands-free.
The new subscription also introduces an urgent response feature which enables hands-free, 24/7 access to an emergency helpline. That way, if an elderly family member takes a fall at home or has another type of emergency, they can just ask Alexa to call for help.
Alexa will then do so and alert all the family members, neighbors and anyone else connected to the account.
The subscription will be offered for free for six months, then is a $19.99 per month paid subscription if you continue.