Since Amazon’s Alexa debuted in 2016, people with disabilities have been a lot more independent in their homes. Before the advent of this smart technology, in order but for people with disabilities to operate various devices in their homes they had to buy expensive equipment, and usually needed the help of an occupational therapist to set it up.
Now controlling various devices in one’s homes is cheaper and easier than it ever has been before. From controlling the temperature to seeing who is at the door from bed, here are some of the most exciting ways you can use the Alexa in you have a spinal cord injury.
One of the most popular functions people use their Alexa for is to turn on/off lights. Many people with significant mobility restrictions find this function very important. You can set up an Alexa to control any light in the home, especially hard to reach light switches or lamps you cannot operate. You can also buy special lightbulbs to integrate with your device. The Hue switch is popular to use with Alexa for light control.
You can operate your TV with an Alexa. It can replace the need for having several remote controls, which for people with spinal cord injuries can get cumbersome. Check out the Harmony switch to operate your TV seamlessly with your Alexa.
With the advent of smart thermostats like the Nest, you can now control them using the Alexa. Since many people with spinal cord injuries no longer can control their temperature, being able to adjust the heat and air conditioning from the bed or simply independently is indispensable.
Kevo Door Lock
You can control the lock on your door with an Alexa by using the Kevo door lock. This door lock is operational through its app. If you have a caregiver show up and you are in bed, for example, you can open the door using the Kevo and Alexa.
For many, they like the ease of a landline in their home even though cell phones are taking over the world. A landline speakerphone can be easily integrated with an Alexa, which many have done as an additional way to communicate independently in a secure way.
If you use an air mattress for sleeping, you can connect an Alexa to your mattress using a Wenmo switch, which will allow you to operate your mattress completely by voice. If you have skin issues, being able to adjust your air mattress independently can make a huge difference.
Second to the popularity of using Alexa to control lights is using it to listen to music. Many integrate their Alexa with Spotify using Sonos, another switch, to operate the music platform. Others will connect their Alexa to a good old-fashioned radio, which also works.
The latest in doorbell technology is the Ring doorbell. This device puts a camera right on your door so you can see who is there. If you are in bed and unable to get to the door, the Ring doorbell adds a solid security feature to your home and assures you’re letting who you intend to into your home.
For anyone who wants to be able to adjust their home’s blinds independently, you can do so with an Alexa using the Fibaro system. Although this system is on the high-end, it is freeing for many to be able to adjust their blinds again.
A humidifier is another popular household appliance people will operate using an Alexa. Simply use a switch to plug your humidifier into, and you can control it with the Alexa.
Written by Vincent DolanA the Director of Public Affairs at SpinalCord.com Vincent has had the opportunity to speak with thousands of individuals (and families) during every step of the recovery process. Vincent has combined his legal and marketing expertise to create the single largest resource for those impacted by a spinal cord or other catastrophic injury. While gathering and sharing these resources Vincent also spends time answering the SpinalCord.com hotline which allows him to better understand what families are going through. Vincent is actively involved in supporting various non profits within the SCI community, and is always open to helping in whatever way he can. Vincent also works with our sponsors Swope, Rodante P.A. to ensure families have every opportunity to obtain the resources which improve the quality of life for individuals after a spinal cord injury.
See what Swope, Rodante Has Done for Others With Catastrophic Injuries
“What made me most excited was to be able to help my family, being able to pull the burden out of them that they’ve been struggling with. That’s what made me feel the best. Everything else to come, is to come. And we’re going to live life how we have been, just not going to have to worry about buying the supplies that I need.”
"As I got better, which I did in the future, I think I remember researching them [Swope, Rodante P.A.] myself and found that they are very good at what they do. "