Make Alexa Information Displays Useful

While an Amazon Echo Show provides a great deal of useful information to you, it may be overwhelming to your loved one. In this article, I’ll suggest some best practices for keeping your loved one informed while reducing confusion.

Make Alexa Proactive: Create Routines

Make Alexa Proactive: Create Routines

Alexa Routines are small pieces of software that you can easily create, and which can make an Echo active rather than passive.

In other words, instead of requiring your parent to initiate an interaction with Alexa, you can automatically trigger an interaction in response to some predetermined stimulus — for example, a motion, a time of day, or a spoken phrase of your choice.

How to Use Alexa for Group Calls

On December 18, 2020, Amazon released an Alexa Group calling feature that allows up to seven (7) callers to be on the same Alexa call. Here is how to set it up and use it.

Time of Day for Dementia Patient – Alexa Skill

I have created an Alexa skill called “My Clock” that is designed to help people with dementia who suffer from time “confusion”. And also to help caregivers who get exhausted from answering repeated questions about “what time is it”?

Control a TV with Voice or Pre-programmed Buttons

I found I needed different solutions, depending on exactly what problem the older adult in question had. 

Below, I describe three solutions — starting with a simple voice command to set the TV to a specific program; and escalating to special pre-programmed buttons that can be positioned near the TV and which, when pressed, automatically start the desired program.

Ring Doorbell Announces Visitors via Echo Show or Fire TV Cube

Here are two solutions (plus detailed “how to” instructions).

  • The basic version uses an Amazon Echo Show with Ring doorbell, so that when the doorbell rings, your loved one can ask Alexa to view the camera.
  • The second solution offers a personalized audible warning to check the screen below, before opening the door. It does this by triggering an “Alexa Routine.”