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By: Sent by email. Updated: August 05, 2020.

I desperately need help finding a solution to helping out a 93 yr old in a AL / Nursing home. 

  •  I was wondering if anyone can tell me if this device (Echo Show 8) can work with an older, fainter voice ?
  •  Can Alexa pick up the commands ?
  • Do you have to train the device to learn your voice to be able to respond to your commands ?

It needs to perform two functions

  1. To ask Alexa to turn on the tv
  2. To then ask it to turn on the Roku
  3. To then ask Alexa to find the KHConf channel

The other function would be to be used as a video / telephone.


Back story :

She is 93.

It's been since March that she has been able to see family or friends.

She's been in lockdown since March. As of last week she is confined solely in her room. As there have been some who have tested positive for Covid.

I apologize for the length of this.

I have spoken with 8 different "experts" trying to explain this. Not going well.

The technology is there. I just have to figure out how to do this.

To further put a wrinkle in all this, is I nor my husband are able to be there physically due to Covid. So I really need to write a easy to reference manuel written by us to assist those that work their who are not tech savvy. Which has turned out to be 98% of those who work there.

They are short staffed, as is everywhere. They are doing the best that they can.

If any of you can help me to figure this out I would greatly appreciate this.

I have been told by so many techies that this is not possible. To just scrap the idea. Nope. That's all I need to hear " It can't be
done "

Help me prove them wrong.





from Barbara C (unverified) at July 02, 2020



from faengelm (member) at July 06, 2020

I want to let you know this CAN BE DONE as I have done this for my Aunt and some of her friends.

While the Echo Show 8 is a great device for doing video calls with your Mom, its takes a bit to get that setup… see this article I wrote 

You configure it at your house and then ship it to the facility. However, if you feel that the staff there can’t or won’t be able to connect it to the facility Wi-Fi, then you will need to look at a video calling device such as GrandPad or Claris with a built-in cellular connection… see this article


Now, let’s talk about the control of the TV. This is something that the Echo Show 8 can’t do, but there is another Amazon device called a Fire TV Cube that can control the TV; on//off, volume, HDMI input selection, cable/satellite box and HD TV antenna channels.

 But, I’m afraid that this setup will require you to be there is you need to connect it to the TV with an HDMI cable and be sure any IR signals are being picked up by the Roku.

Amazon has some great videos on the setup here and they guide you step-by-step. I suggest that removing the Roku would be an option to make it easier as your Mom will have full control of things she use to watch on Roku such as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube

Regarding a soft voice, your Mom could actually speak into the Fire TV remote or I can tell you how to make the Echo Show 8 relay her voice commands to the Fire TV Cube

Please feel free to ask more questions here if this is not clear.

I’m in the process of writing a complete Solutions article for this site on Fire TV Cube setup


from tel-editors (member) at August 17, 2020

Its worth looking at Soundmind. We have not tried the product but it sets up an Echo Show for you and ships it to your parent etc. You can see it here in our listing database.


from faengelm (member) at August 17, 2020

This certainly is an interesting product and solves the problem of configuring Alexa Calling for a remote loved one. After reading the FAQ on their site, I found that they don’t require the elder to have an Alexa account and they provide a phone number for making the calling connections. I believe that the only way a family member can call the elder is though the supplied app

The only downside I can see to this, in addition to the monthly fee of $19.95/mo subscription, is that since the elder does not use their own Amazon account they will be missing Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music

They may be an acceptable tradeoff when weighed against the curated apps they supply.


from djcoffey (member) at September 14, 2020

I set up an Echo for my mother by setting up an Amazon account in her name (not Prime). She's 85 with moderate dementia.

What I learned: she won't use it although if she happens to be around and I "drop in" she will talk to me.

As for TV, seems like there are TV's on the market now that support Alexa. Though the ease of use of Alexa with TV's and other devices boggle me at times as a tech-savvy adult (my career is software of various kinds). I have a SONOS Beam paired with a pre-Alexa Samsung. The Sonos can direct an XFINITY cable box, or you can use an Apple TV or XBOX to host the apps. I think later Samsungs are Alexa-enabled, but then you'd still have the cable issue....