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Old 01-12-2019, 02:34 PM   #21
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Jerry 1 and REWahoo: So if I get the Echo Dot -- maybe three of them (they're only $30 today on Amazon), I will need to use my parents' cell phone for the connection? They have a flip phone... But my brother lives nearby and has an iPhone 8. Can we use his phone for the cell connection? Fortunately, my parents have a very good wireless connection (Comcast Blast).
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:37 PM   #22
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skipro33: Thank you so much for your input. As to what you two (or I) will do when we start to fall apart: That's a whole other thread. But my current thinking is that I'm going to roll down a flight of very long stairs. Or so I currently claim... I have the money for senior care -- but why get diaper rash again? The film "The Leisure Seeker" (with Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren) confirmed that I'm far from alone in thinking this way.
Yes pretty much needs another thread, but... the problem with the check-out plan is that by the time you really to check-out, you no longer have the mental capacity for legal medical assisted action (is legal in various places), and lack the capacity to do it yourself.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #23
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Jerry 1 and REWahoo: So if I get the Echo Dot -- maybe three of them (they're only $30 today on Amazon), I will need to use my parents' cell phone for the connection? They have a flip phone... But my brother lives nearby and has an iPhone 8. Can we use his phone for the cell connection? Fortunately, my parents have a very good wireless connection (Comcast Blast).
Doesn't the echo just connect to the internet ?
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #24
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My mom seems to like the Echo Show on its own. I still need to set up the Drop-in option for her, among other things. We also got an Echo Connect for answering the phone (not set up yet), and she has had (and loves) a Ring Video Doorbell for a couple of years. We'll probably add a couple of Amazon Basics Smart Plugs and maybe a camera for the backyard.

I haven't seen the Ring doorbell mentioned yet. With it Mom can tell when her mail is delivered, see who rang the doorbell (and decide whether to get up and answer), and caught a dog sitter inviting friends into the house when she was on vacation. Even her super lazy dog recognizes the Ring motion alert and checks out the front door.

In my house I've gone so far as to replace all our wall switches with smart switches, using Samsung's SmartThings hub, and added Logitech Harmony Hubs to allow voice control of our TV's (with A/V receiver and tons of connected devices). Pretty useful and fun so far, but unnecessary for simpler cases.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #25
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I've always read that in other cultures, old people decide one day that it's time to die, they make up their minds to die, and next thing they are found dead - no gun, poison, etc, just willpower. There must be some way we can do that.

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Yes pretty much needs another thread, but... the problem with the check-out plan is that by the time you really to check-out, you no longer have the mental capacity for legal medical assisted action (is legal in various places), and lack the capacity to do it yourself.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #26
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Jerry 1 and REWahoo: So if I get the Echo Dot -- maybe three of them (they're only $30 today on Amazon), I will need to use my parents' cell phone for the connection? They have a flip phone... But my brother lives nearby and has an iPhone 8. Can we use his phone for the cell connection? Fortunately, my parents have a very good wireless connection (Comcast Blast).
The cell phone is just to setup and maintain the Echo, using the Alexa App. It is not used for the cell connection, Alexa is all Wi-Fi. Look at alexa.amazon.com and see if you can do most of what's needed through a normal browser.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #27
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Mo, yes you should be able to use your brother's iphone to set up and connect to the Echo Dots. As Animorph points out, the phone is not used for connecting actual calls, but it will use his contact list to enable Alexa to know what number to call.

FYI: the name your parents ask Alexa to call needs to match the name on the contact list. For example, if they call you "Joseph" and your brother has "Joe" as your name in his contact list, Alexa may not call the right person.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:54 PM   #28
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I think the only problem you would have with using your brother's phone is if he has an Echo. My understanding (could be wrong) is that you can't have the same phone attached to more than one Echo (or Echos if all in the same house). I think DW tried using her phone for MIL but since it is attached to the one in our house, she couldn't.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:59 PM   #29
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I think the only problem you would have with using your brother's phone is if he has an Echo. My understanding (could be wrong) is that you can't have the same phone attached to more than one Echo (or Echos if all in the same house). I think DW tried using her phone for MIL but since it is attached to the one in our house, she couldn't.
^ This is correct.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:11 PM   #30
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To be more precise, it is nice to use just one Amazon account per household of Echos. Then you can just open the Alexa app and control them all without hassle.

In order to say "Alexa, turn on the TV" for all four of our TV's we use four Amazon accounts. We have enough tablets and phones to have them signed in to the different Amazon accounts permanently.

Alternatively, in the Alexa app you can just sign out of one Amazon account and into another. So if you know any person's Amazon account login you can control their Alexas.

Funny, I signed into Mom's Ring account to debug something for her. I forgot to log out and back into my account. I got the motion alert, checked the video, and it's someone a Mom's door! Oops.

ETA: Amazon seemed to tie together Amazon accounts that have been shared. DW and I share between my individual Amazon account and our shared account so we can share Kindle books. The full identical array of Alexa devices was available to either account. That was no good for trying to separate the TV controls.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:17 PM   #31
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Seeing as I'm his first responder, I have no qualms about privacy for my brother via cameras.
He lives alone and is a stroke survivor; he's fully cognizant but cannot speak. I live a few blocks away and see him almost every day for a few hours.

I have 5 cameras in his home that views 100% of his living space. The cameras also notify me when he gets up (bedroom motion detection) in the morning. I'm able to check in on him several times a day and I make sure he's safely in bed before I am.
Only once did I spot him on the floor and was able to get there within a few minutes.

We also have 'safety rules' like no getting up in the middle of the night (use urinals) etc.

I also have temperature monitors in case the heat goes off or if he were to forget to close an outside door. I also Skype in when I'm not able to visit him during the day which gives him a sense of connection.

Our mom (age 89) provides companionship during the day and I'm his driver to breakfast, lunch, dinner, doctors etc. He has a PCA that comes to help with showering etc.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:44 AM   #32
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My Mother had all the gadgets a life alert which saved her several times , a chair that lifts you up ,a raised toilet seat , a shower chair , a grabber and something that helps you put on your socks .Her favorite was the chair that helps you stand .
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:59 AM   #33
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We bought an Alzheimer's clock for a relative developing memory issues. It has the day of the week and date in big letters in addition to the time.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:29 PM   #34
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To those that have or are dealing with aging parents: My hat's off to you and the way you're handling the situation. It's really nice that technology has assisted in this area.

We moved my parents close to my sister after "sugar lows" were causing my father falling problems--and he went on dialysis. My mother was in congestive heart failure for 17 years--in and out of the hospital for her last few years. We had them in a luxury apartment with full time help during the day--very expensive.

We ended up losing my father to a clot to the lungs. My mother moved to a CCRC with a security deposit of $177K and it cost $2050 a month. But she then needed someone to watch her 24 hrs. a day and to drive her to doctors' appointments. In reality, she should have been in a step up assisted living or nursing home. She lasted 2 years and had a high quality of life. But she was down to her last $5K cash when she left us.

We all do what we have to do. And when it's over, it's nice to know that we were good sons and daughters
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:48 PM   #35
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Just to add some obvious aids...

Bed rails... not just to keep from rolling out of bed, but important to help getting in and out. DW uses this... Peace of mind
https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical...ords=bed+rails

Walkers... wheels...no wheels, brakes.. seat... cup holder... basket... collapsible?
https://www.walmart.com/search/?quer...peahead=walker

This is not a no-brainer. It's important to fit the walker to the user's needs. Living in our CCRC, we get to see how and why each person uses a different kind of walker. Likewise, for a cane. Getting the right size for the user is very important.

Warmer gloves, paraffin baths, reachers, uplift seats, specialty senior pill keepers, mealtime bibs, warm soft blanket.

Inside the living quarters... if looking... full room carpeting (falls). wide doorways for wheelchair, low or no door sills, low shower sill, touch lamp lights, small electric heaters.
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Motion detecting night lights, duct tape, and decluttering
Old 01-14-2019, 06:11 PM   #36
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Motion detecting night lights, duct tape, and decluttering

(1) Part of my personal fall prevention program, is a dozen motion detector nightlights judiciously and redundantly placed. Let's see; 3 in the master bedroom, 3 in the hall, 2 in the bathroom, 2 in the den, and 2 in another bedroom. One of those in my bedroom is a plug-in light, and the others are battery operated with AA or AAA batteries. If a battery runs down (about every 6-12 months), I replace it ASAP and the redundancy of nightlights comes in handy in the meantime.

During a recent power outage, these were wonderful to have! And, I believe that in my case they have prevented countless falls. They are cheap and I think motion detecting nightlights would be great for any senior to consider.

(2) Another thing that I did after an especially bad fall is to mark the edge of any step with bright fluorescent yellow duct tape clear across the step right on the edge. When I first moved here, I didn't recall that the side door had a couple of steps down and I fell down them while carrying a huge load of laundry to be washed elsewhere (since I had no washer here yet). This was one of the worst falls of my life since I hit my forehead hard on the concrete driveway as well as badly hurting my hand and other bodily parts. I was only 67, but can you imagine enduring a fall like that later on at, say, 82 or 87? I made sure it will never, ever happen again thanks to the bright yellow duct tape. I don't give a hoot what anybody thinks about its appearance. The duct tape is a safety measure for me and also quite inexpensive.

(2) Another part of my personal fall prevention program is decluttering and making clear pathways throughout my home, with absolutely nothing to get in the way or trip over. That sounds unnecessary until one looks at one's home with a critical eye, and with fall prevention in mind. There exists adhesive tape that is meant for tacking down the corners of throw rugs, and that can be helpful.
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