How to Set Up an Amazon Fire TV Cube

Fire TV Cube with TV

  In my retirement I spend a great deal of time on an unusual “hobby” — coming up with useful technology-based solutions to problems and annoyances that beset my elderly friends and relations.   I have found that many of these older adults spend quite a lot of their time within earshot of a TV — which is … Read more

Aging Parent Answers Doorbell Without Looking

Aging Parent Answers Doorbell Without Looking

My Mom jumps up to answer the doorbell every time it rings. I worry about two things. I worry she opens the door to strangers without knowing who they are. I worry she does not always hear the doorbell and might miss out on someone she actually wants to talk to.

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.”

Smoke detectors – ways to make them “SMART”

My father-in-law lives with family who both work, leaving him alone at home for several hours per day. He is 93, legally blind and practically deaf. We knew we needed some tech to help remote family members comfortable. Getting a smart door lock was a no brainer. Caregiver family can remotely open it for visitors, … Read more

How to Set Up Alexa Calling for a Loved One

Setting Up Alexa Calling

  Are you looking for a way to setup video chats with your loved one who lives independently or in a facility? This article tells you how to do that, using the Echo Show, without requiring your loved one to do any of the “setting up”.   New to This Topic? This is a Deep-dive … Read more

Echo Show Experiences – Mom and Daughter

We're now on day two of having Echo Show up and running at my home in Minnesota, and my Mom's home in Texas. Initially, I was concerned that I would have to walk my decidedly not-techie sister-in-law through setting up Alexa on someome's phone in order to take advantage of the bluetooth setup aspects. Thankfully, … Read more

Amazon Echo Show: What I Use it For

About a year ago, my wife and I were on a Facetime call with my son and his family who are far away in Tennessee.  Two grandsons crowded to be seen on the iPhone screen while the third grandson sat on his dad's lap. Due to the close quarters, when the little fellow lept up excitedly … Read more

Best Video Call Technology

Now that we are all “sheltering in place”, finding ways to interact virtually with people from our homes has rocketed up people’s priority list. We have had quite a few emails now from people wanting to know the best way to have video calls with their family and friends. Here are some thoughts to help … Read more

Smart Home, Artificial Intelligence, Robots

Smart home with artificial intelligence control

  We think artificial intelligence, smart home technologies, and robots have the potential to enable older adults to live independently for longer, and have better quality of life than they would without these gadgets.   We are evaluating products as they come to market, and sharing what we learn about which products are best for … Read more