Question Help for Phone-Video System for 93yo Mom

Sep 26, 2020
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Hi - and thanks in advance help. Note that I am 62 but pretty tech-infantile (so please take that into account). I am sorry if am posting in the wrong Forum -- if so if a moderator could place it where it should I'd be very grateful.

I'll try to be succinct with back-story: My 93 year old mother is currently in assisted living. She is hearing and visually impaired -- refuses hearing aid (blasts her TV to hear); vision impairment is stable but not good and irreparable due to Macular Degeneration (glasses/magnifiers don't help, can't read or see digits on a phone; able to generally see shapes/outlines and parts of faces on TV).

Quick full disclosure of complications: She is of sound mind intellectually, remarkable memory when not stressed, but has VERY low frustration tolerance. Therefore, regardless of a potential benefit, if something isn't profoundly simple to use, she'll reject it. As an example, she took a fall a few days ago in the middle of the night -- hurt her arm, shoulders, side -- and was crying. She has a button to press for help from staff (24 hours) -- she didn't use it - - too complicated to consider in the moment.

Due to Covid and age of her children - 3 of us are over 60 (my 2 oldest sibs close to 70), we've only been visiting her outside which will change soon here in New England. All of us (her children) want to limit our indoor physical visits and add other viable ways to keep connected. Phone conversations with her aren't good and too short. We've been thinking about possible ways for us to connect with a visual (though she can't see well, we'd like to see her, and she'll benefit from some visual of us even if mostly an outline ). I have thought about something but not sure it can be done....

So here is the question... Can this be done?:

Could we get her a Smart Phone and Smart TV (to be used exclusively for this purpose) that could be set to automatically alert/connect when she receives a call from one of her kids (we'd be the only ones with her number)? In other words, the TV would awake when the phone rings and would be already set to the correct source and volume and display the caller automatically when she answers the phone.

This would need to be INCREDIBLY easy for her or it won't work: Needs to be one button on the cell that she can feel her way to, and just press that button when the call ends.

Mostly -- I only need to know if this sounds possible (or something similar with another type of device). Anything more would be a bonus.

Thank you!
 
The easiest I could think of is use a laptop or desktop and leave it set to always on. Then install something like Teamviewer for remote desktop. When you want to perform a video chat. You could remote into her computer and turn on Zoom, Skype, &c. Initiating your video chat. All she has to do is sit in front of the computer or turn it on at worst.
 
Sep 26, 2020
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The easiest I could think of is use a laptop or desktop and leave it set to always on. Then install something like Teamviewer for remote desktop. When you want to perform a video chat. You could remote into her computer and turn on Zoom, Skype, &c. Initiating your video chat. All she has to do is sit in front of the computer or turn it on at worst.
What an interesting idea -- seriously, thank you! I would NEVER have come up with this.

To be sure I have it right -- the Teamviewer installation would allow me from my computer 'take over' her computer remotely (like the remote tech guys at my work who clean-up my computer)? Then I can connect her to a Zoom meeting that I set up from my home account? Once she is on I can navigate back to my computer so I can see her? Do I have it right?

People at Best Buy (or the like) can help me with the software? Anything needed in particular as far as new computer specs -- this would would be the only use for the computer.
 
What an interesting idea -- seriously, thank you! I would NEVER have come up with this.

To be sure I have it right -- the Teamviewer installation would allow me from my computer 'take over' her computer remotely (like the remote tech guys at my work who clean-up my computer)? Then I can connect her to a Zoom meeting that I set up from my home account? Once she is on I can navigate back to my computer so I can see her? Do I have it right?

People at Best Buy (or the like) can help me with the software? Anything needed in particular as far as new computer specs -- this would would be the only use for the computer.
Yes, that's how it works. Nothing particularly astonishing is needed for the computer.

I'd probably get something like a used Macbook Air or Pro from around 2014 or 2015. I like the Macs for this as there is no compulsory update. Which there is for Windows 10. That way you don't have to worry about an update screwing things up. Just turn off Automatic Updates.

Also I've got a few clients using Teamviewer with Macs. One of which is left running for months at a time without reboots. I'm able to connect reliably when they ask. Usually when no one is around. So, it has to work.

You just need to make sure it is set to always stay on. The screen may sleep or go to screen saver. You can also still lock the computer with a password. As you'll be prompted for it after connecting to Teamviewer. This is a good idea. So, that staff doesn't waste time screwing around with the computer. One customer I see occasionally is at a nursing home and I found someone there was visiting gambling sites from his computer.

The computer will be assigned an ID for connections by Teamviewer automatically. It doesn't change. You can also add a computer access code. You'll need to do that as the access code it assigns changes frequently.

Another option is an iPad. Then you can call using Facetime. It'll ring like a phone and she just needs to click a button to answer.
 

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