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Tech info from my experience

scoobydoo2

Registered User
Feb 23, 2019
31
0
Hi,

I am thinking of setting up some tech for my mum and dad, its well overdue. Even if they don’t use it I can pass on some useful tips !

If anyone would like any information on how technology can be used in the home to help caregivers and people they are caring for watch this space.
 
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Maggiex

New member
Nov 25, 2020
3
0
Hi ... I have invested in a " grandpad" for my separated husband who lives alone. It enables me to video call him easily and is brilliant. It has email photos music etc on it but he is not really up to accessing anything but calls and photos. To call me or my son or anyone we know he just presses their picture. Its a worthwhiile investment for us.
 

RiverT

New member
Oct 23, 2020
5
0
Hi,

I am thinking of setting up some tech for my mum and dad, its well overdue. Even if they don’t use it I can pass on some useful tips !

If anyone would like any information on how technology can be used in the home to help caregivers and people they are caring for watch this space.

We (my sister and I) are mulling over whether to get an Echo Show for my mum. She's only just been diagnosed with dementia and is at the early stages. She's very bright but technophobic, struggles to understand how her thermostat works, and can't use anything beyond a TV remote, a landline phone and her home appliances. But we thought a device that she can just talk to might work, as a way for her to make some use of the Internet. It seems pretty versatile, plus it means we can call her over video which would be good as we both live far away from her. We're not thinking yet of smart plugs or smart thermostats etc. but I suppose if her cognitive ability declines more, those might be useful. I thought I would set up her up with an Amazon account and use it via the Alexa app on my mobile to manage the Echo Show remotely.

Has anyone else got any experience of this or suggestions?
 

scoobydoo2

Registered User
Feb 23, 2019
31
0
We (my sister and I) are mulling over whether to get an Echo Show for my mum. She's only just been diagnosed with dementia and is at the early stages. She's very bright but technophobic, struggles to understand how her thermostat works, and can't use anything beyond a TV remote, a landline phone and her home appliances. But we thought a device that she can just talk to might work, as a way for her to make some use of the Internet. It seems pretty versatile, plus it means we can call her over video which would be good as we both live far away from her. We're not thinking yet of smart plugs or smart thermostats etc. but I suppose if her cognitive ability declines more, those might be useful. I thought I would set up her up with an Amazon account and use it via the Alexa app on my mobile to manage the Echo Show remotely.

Has anyone else got any experience of this or suggestions?


I am thinking of setting up an Alexa for my mum and dad. He is terrible with technology and not sure he will use it but worth a go if it can improve his life in anyway. One useful feature is the "drop in" where you can use the Alexa as an intercom. My mum who had dementia may be able to get some benefits too from Alexa like listening to music.

I was also thinking about a Google Nest or similar so I can get notifications for smoke or carbon monoxide alerts.

There is so much you can do with smart technology, I guess its what would help out the best. Medication reminders could be useful with Alexa as well as making voice calls easier.

What I am also thinking of doing is installing a Xiaomi Home system which I have at home. This allows you to install window alarms, movement sensors, temperature sensors, cameras, smoke detectors, lighting etc. There are literally hundreds of sensors and devices. I would just like to know e.g when the fridge was last opened and if the front door or back door are open closed etc. Its really good value tech and works well. You can have smart buttons which turn off / on lights, set the alarm etc. Each button has 3 actions so single press, double press and long press which can be set to do whatever you want.

Also I was thinking about possibly giving them fitness trackers so I can see their heart rate, steps and sleep patterns over time. I'm not sure my mum or dad would wear them though.

Finally I was thinking about what you can do with a mobile. There is a great launcher for Android which is really simple so you can have a large icon for a shortcut to call a family member. Another idea I had was the use of NFC tags. So you could have a sheet of paper with a picture of each family member which a NFC tag underneath. When the phone touches the family members face it calls them on the mobile.

If you would like to discuss any requirements happy to help !
 

RiverT

New member
Oct 23, 2020
5
0
Thanks for all those ideas. The thing I've found with my mother is that at the moment she's OK doing things in a way that's familiar, even if it's not the simplest or easiest way. For example ages ago she opened a 2nd bank account because one closed their branch in her local town, and ran both accounts. Because I have power of attorney over her finances now, I've explained many times that she can do everything with only one account, one card, one cheque book. I keep an eye on the balance to make sure there's always enough money in that account. But she forgets and still tries to run both accounts like she did when she did it all herself - then she asks me why she needs two! Same with phones; in theory, a smartphone is "easier", but I suspect not for her - she's used to looking up people's numbers in her paper book and punching out the numbers on her landline phone.

I've not heard of the Xiaomi Home system, thanks. It looks very versatile, something like this might be worth knowing about if my mother's condition worsens in future and she still wants to stay at home. I think she doesn't need it at the moment, and she wouldn't want it if I asked her.
 

Bella6

Registered User
Jul 25, 2020
23
0
I managed to get Google's Nest Hub Max set up in my husband's Care Home room with a 4G router (internet using a SIM card). It has worked brilliantly. My husband has vascular dementia and technology has become increasingly difficult for him. He is no longer able to use his mobile phone and struggles with even the simplified TV remote, but he can use the Nest Hub Max even though it was totally new to him.

The sound quality is really good, which helps a lot with the video calls. I call him daily and we also have family calls (group calls) which we enjoy. For me it's an essential way to find out how he is; even on a bad day when he can't talk coherently he can still answer the video call (for now).

The Nest Hub Max displays photos from his Google account's favourites album, and I can add photos as I manage the Google account (I created a new google account to set up the the Nest Hub Max for him). My husband has been able to talk to me about the photos he's seen on his screen, and his family have provided albums with old photographs for me to scan and add to his screen.

Different technologies have different benefits. For my husband and our family, this solution has made a huge difference. Seeing his smile as our granddaughter reads a bedtime story to us on the family call is priceless.
 

LDCarer

New member
Oct 29, 2020
1
0
Hello, I am new here, though I have been reading posts for a while now. I want to take the opportunity to extend a big thank you to all who do post and share on this forum, I have found so much of it very helpful.

I am a Canadian living in the UK, my mother has Alzheimers and is living in a care home in Canada. My siblings and I had an Amazon Echo Show in mom’s apartment, it was quite helpful when she was struggling to maintain her independence at home. I was able to help her with all kinds of things and check in on her when we needed to. The Echo Show has a function that allows you to “drop in” (once you have enabled access) so you do not have to rely on them answering the device, which came in handy for us. The device was in her kitchen, if she was elsewhere in the apartment I could usually hear her and figure out if she was there or what she was doing if we hadn’t heard from her or she wasn’t answering her phone. And while Mom never quite caught on to it she could contact us by saying “Alexa, call so and so” and the device can connect with anyone who was in her phone book. I do recommend reducing the number of contacts to minimize any confusion on Alexa’s part though. Mom did ask Alexa what the weather was like on a fairly regular basis, if I had my time back I would have written down more questions for her to try. The Echo also allowed me to easily stay in touch with Mom when I was back in England, and it allowed me to feel as though I was helping my siblings out while they were doing more of the actual physical stuff that I could not help with.

We found the Echo device very useful when we were trying to help mom maintain her independence at home, and I think others will as well.