Amazon Echo Show 10 3rd Gen with Motion is the best device for communicating with family members who have Alzheimers / Dementia
Just for a quick post – for anyone searching for ways to communicate with their loved ones with Dementia or Alzheimers – we have found that the new Echo Show 10 3rd Gen with Motion is a perfect solution. We have been using it now for two weeks, and it has been life-changing for my mother, and family members.
Using the Contact Drop-In feature, family members can download the Amazon Alexa app on their Android or Apple iPhone, and login to the app. When logging into the app for the first time, the family member must tie their Amazon Alexa to their cell phone number. This will send a text to the family member’s phone for approval and registration.
Once the family member logs into the Amazon Alexa app and ties their phone number to their account, the Echo Show owner will be able to allow the family member to “Drop In” to their Echo Show device.
The Echo Show device owner would visit the contact list either on the Echo Show device itself, or in their Amazon Alexa app on their phone. They would then visit the family member’s individual contact, and the option to “Allow Drop In” should show in the contact. (The option will not show in the contact if the family member has not registered their phone number with Alexa via phone app login)
Once Drop In is enabled for the contact, the family member will be able to use the phone Amazon Alexa App to drop in to the Echo Show owner’s device.
It’s important to note that currently – the contact Drop In feature can only drop in on the one “main” Echo Show device of the household. What is the “main” Echo Show device if you have multiple Echo Show devices? Whichever Echo Show was the most recent to login or be setup. To change what is considered the main Echo Show device, visit your other Echo Show devices in the Amazon Alexa App, and disable Drop In, or set the devices to “household only” Drop In. The last remaining Echo Show device allowing full Drop In will become the main device. Enabling more full Drop In devices afterwards will work in the order enabled. If the main Echo Show device is offline, the Contact Drop In feature will drop in to the “next in order” device. There is no way to view the order of devices, just disable Drop In on devices, and re-enable drop in on the devices in the order wanted. However – most of the time, the Drop In devices should be online. However, they can freeze up from time to time – or individuals with Alzheimers or Dementia can get curious sometimes – and move or unplug the Echo Show devices. That’s why it can be good to have a 2nd Echo Show device in case the main one goes offline from a hard freeze, or curious family member.
Currently, the only way to be able to Drop In on multiple echo show devices is to be logged into the Amazon Alexa app on your phone as the Echo Show device owner (in my case, logged in as my Mom). If I log into the Amazon Alexa app as my Mom, then I have the option to drop into any of her home devices as herself. This can be a huge benefit for security purposes and seeing what my mom is up to in various rooms of the house.
Currently we have Mom’s main Echo Show 10 setup on her fireplace mantle in the living room. By having it on the mantle, Mom can be anywhere in the living room – like in her recliner, or the couch, and the Echo Show 10 will use motion to pan and zoom in on Mom wherever she is in the room. It does struggle with distance some – Mom’s recliner seems to be just out of what is considered normal viewing “range”. It will zoom into Mom’s recliner, but zoom out, and back in, multiple times throughout the conversation. Mom’s recliner is around 10 – 12 feet from the Echo Show on the fireplace mantle – which seems to be just far enough to give the Zoom in feature a hard time figuring out what to zoom in on.
In my Mom’s case – she does not have concern with privacy – she is elated whenever a family member randomly “Drops In” to her living room. While a person in normal health likely would not Drop In enabled in their living room for privacy, – my mother does not mind – and it has been wonderful for our family to drop in and see Mom anytime.
It would be nice if the contact Drop In feature could be improved to include device choices for Drop In – but for now – having just the living room for our family members to drop in to is more than enough. We are just happy to have an option.
Additionally – since the Echo Show devices can make real phone calls – we have printed out a list of commands to say to the Echo – such as “Alexa, Call Marcus” or “Alexa, call Pam”. We also have the Echo Show connected to her Vizio smart TV – so Mom can say “Alexa, Turn the TV on” or “Alexa, turn up the TV volume”
If mom is able to read and say commands printed out and taped up next to it – she can initiate a phone call to anyone in her contact list. Mom has been unable to make phone calls on a real phone now for about two years. But with the Echo Show, it is possible again, somewhat.
Some other features available I have considered but not yet utilized – the announce feature – could potentially have family members say announcements throughout the house to Mom. The calendar feature could he helpful for a family calendar – where doctors appointments, birthdays, or special events could be added which would display around the house on Echo Show devices. We have a care taker visit the house three times per week – potentially she could see doctors appointments on the screen if we used the calendar display features. We also have setup four Amazon Blink cameras – and have notifications turned off – so we can open the Blink App anytime, and see recordings of Mom being around the house just for piece of mind. We have the Blink cameras in non-private areas of the house – like the sunroom, laundry room, looking out a window to the back yard, and front yard.