Echo Show Experiences - Mom and Daughter

By: djcoffey. Updated: June 19, 2020.

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, that was not needed. I gave them minimal information necessary to link the Echo Show device to Mom's internet, and the user ID and password for Mom's Amazon account. Note that Mom's Amazon account does not have any credit cards linked to it (and will never have them), as I tend to purchase things in her behalf on my own Amazon Prime account.

I wanted to set up the Drop In Feature. This turned out to be a little complicated by how I set up Mom's Amazon account.

As Mom historically was paranoid about the Internet, I've had a heck of a time getting web acounts set up for various things. When her mild-to-moderate dementia became apparent, I stopped asking and (I do have POA) and went ahead.

Amazon insists you use a phone number in account setup - instead of using Mom's, I set up a Google Voice account linked to my phone number. This turned out to cause some issues - especially impacting my Echo/Alexa account detecting that Mom had an account with Alexa devices. I solved this by adding the Google Voice number to Mom's contact in my iPhone as an "other" phone number. Doesn't seem to bother Alexa that we each have that number as other in our contacts.

This is a key learning - Alexa/Echo will import contacts from your phone. So, while you can do a fair amount of account seutp on the Alexa website, your phone is still key in getting correct contact information to the device.

If you live near your senior relative, I would suggest you have both devices delivered to your home, set them up there, then take the already set up device to your relative's house. With the SSID and password of their Internet in hand, you can set that up prior to dropping it off with them. They should only need to plug it in and turn it on!

Neither Mom nor I were fans of Facetime. We tried it a couple of times and something about how you appear on the phone is upsetting to our vanity. The Echo Show, by virtue of taking in more of the surrounding room, gives a much more natural feel to the interaction.

She really seems to like it. So now I'll be after her grand-kids to setup something so that they can call her that way a bit more often.

I'm very impressed by the cost to value factor of this device. The quality of the construction is good, the software works well, the setup is manageable.

Dotty

Comments

 

from Richard-Caro (member) at April 17, 2020

Dottie: We are finding a lot of people are interested in the exact scenario you describe right now, for obvious reasons, and it is really great to allow people to learn from real world experiences like yours. It is exactly what we hoped to accomplish when we started Tech-enhanced Life. Thank you. :)     Richard Caro

 

from djcoffey (member) at April 17, 2020

Just to clarify:

Download the Alexa app to your phone.

Set up Alexa account for your Echo devices on the internet and on your phone.

Set up Alexa account (if your relative doesn't have an Amazon account, you'll need to set that up too) for your relative's device on the internet and on your phone.

On your phone, launch the Alexa app.

Enable calling and messaging on both accounts - you'll have to sign in to one, make the configuration settings, then sign into the other. You can do remotely in your relative's behalf, you don't need to be near the device.

It does seem to take some time for settings on the phone to relay to the device. Be patient and it should catch up.

 

from faengelm (member) at May 14, 2020

Here is some good information from Amazon on how to handle a remote setup of the Echo Show

They cover every case except the one where your parent does't have or want a cell phone. Here is my workaround for that case.