Carlton Innovates By Equipping All Residents with Amazon Alexas

Carlton Senior Living, a leader in resident engagement and an award-winning workplace, has again taken the lead in innovation by providing an Amazon Alexa device for each of its residents. Through Amazon’s generous donation program, Carlton has partnered with Speak2, a senior care-focused technology vendor, to provide a unique, game-changing experience for residents and families to connect and engage through voice-activated technology.

Carlton is always looking for innovative ways to help make the lives of residents, their family members, and staff more efficient, and bringing Alexa into the communities, with its unique and modern way of communicating with residents–was a natural next step. “Our culture is all about residents engaging with staff, the community at large, and their families. Providing a device that enables them to connect by simply using their voice was an easy decision,” says Dave Coluzzi, President of Carlton Senior Living. “Watching a resident who struggles with screen-based technology simply say ‘Alexa, call Maria,’ and seeing the smile come across their face as their call connects, it’s an unmeasurable feeling of satisfaction.”

When Amazon offered free Alexa devices several months ago, Carlton was eager to work with the tech giant to leverage their growing suite of artificial intelligence (AI) products that focus on Senior Living. “Being able to deploy 1,000 Alexas in a matter of a couple of months would not have been possible without Amazon and Speak2,” says Chung Chow, CFO of Carlton. Specifically, Chow was referring to the streamlined security, multiple layers of privacy protection, and ease of deployment. All this is made possible by the Amazon Hospitality platform, which allows providers to manage a large number of Alexas centrally while prioritizing personal privacy-no sensitive personal information needs to be shared or saved to use an Alexa device. “Our residents and families wanted to know that it was safe and our staff wanted to know it wasn’t a burden. Amazon and Speak2 came through on both of those things,” says Chow.

“It’s always easy to identify leadership and innovative companies in the Senior Living space,” said Jillian Guerra, partner at Speak2, who provides a content platform and management of Amazon’s hospitality suite. “When Carlton invested in Wi-Fi, their staff were excited to help and the whole culture and atmosphere were open to trying new things and making the most of the technology. Residents can make hands-free calls, get real-time announcements, and access on-demand information like dining menus and community activity schedules using just their voice. Our most rewarding feature is the Daily Affirmations, which we have populated with a variety of different voices across the whole country. The residents love this feature because it’s an actual person’s voice, not just Alexa’s voice, so it provides an extra level of human touch,” says Guerra.

Carlton Senior Living, which was recently named #1 in California and #2 in the nation for Best Workplaces for Aging Services™ by Fortune magazine, is known for incorporating innovative technologies and solutions into all that they do, and their alignment with Speak2 runs deep. Coincidentally, Carlton and Speak2 were each formed by their respective founders to meet the needs of their aging parents when no suitable solutions were available. That like-minded approach to business has allowed the Carlton-Amazon-Speak2 partnership to improve the lives of many-not only seniors.

Carlton’s next phase is to incorporate more smart technology like lighting, temperature controls, and security features across their properties. “We like to try out new technologies that can help our residents, and this first step with Alexa is only the start,” says Taren Petros, VP of Business Operations and Technology at Carlton. “Watch for more to come!”