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Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents

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Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« on: June 30, 2017, 09:28:20 pm »
Hello all, new to this site--looks like a great place. :)

I just purchased two Echo Shows, one for my home and one for my parents who live elsewhere. I could use some pointers on getting my parents' Show set up.  (I already have an Echo Dot and I am a Prime member, so I have some knowledge of using Echo.)

I ordered both Shows on the "Buy 2 and get $100 off" promotion a while back. Just got them both today.  I've set up mine already and I will ship the other one off to my parents. I'd like to figure out how to make this as painless as possible for my 89 year old parents.  They are not Prime members, and probably don't even have an Amazon account yet (which I'll set up for them).  So I'm wondering if I set it all up in my home and send it off all configured, or send it and try to guide them through it.   BTW, they have an iphone and a Mac (they are more proficient with the Mac than the iphone so thinking of them using the page rather than the iphone app).

Here's some specific questions about this I have, and I'm sure many of you have answers to questions I'm not even thinking of.

1. In my Alexa app I see that the two Echo Shows are listed under my devices, even though my parents' Show is still in the box.  How will I deregister this Show from my account and add it to their Amazon account?

2. If they don't get Prime or Amazon Music (I know they won't pay for it), must I set up a free music service like Pandora for them in order for them to get any music at all? Or is there some basic music functionality that comes without hooking up a music service?  (I have Prime in my home network, so I cannot tell what would be missing on a Show without Prime.)

3. Since they are not good at all with their one iphone (never even loaded an app), I'd like to set them up on instead.  Will that be fine or are there limitations?

4. We will want to use our Shows to video chat.  Is that something I'll need to set up ahead of time too, or is that easy enough to do for them?

Anything else anyone think I might run into?

I'm happy to have found this forum and hopefully when I get up to speed I can offer some help to others too. Thanks.

Offline Laurel

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Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 11:01:22 pm »
I just found how to deregister:
Deregister a Device

You can deregister a device from your Amazon account if you no longer want to use it to purchase apps or in-app items.
To deregister a device:

    From the Amazon website, go to Your Apps and Devices.
    Click Your devices.
    Click the Actions button, and then click Deregister device. Deregistering your device prohibits Appstore purchases on that device, and disables the use of any app purchased from Amazon Appstore for Android and downloaded to that device. You can re-enable purchasing from the device by signing in to the Amazon Appstore for Android again.

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 01:40:49 pm »
3. Since they are not good at all with their one iphone (never even loaded an app), I'd like to set them up on instead.  Will that be fine or are there limitations?
I also have a Mac & use my DOT through the Alexa app browser site.  I do not have Amazon Prime music nor have an Amazon acct except the one to log onto the Alexa app.
I have found no limitations *to date* to use other FREE music services.

Your parents can listen to music from iTunes.  This is done when the Echo is connected to the computer through bluetooth.  Make sure your parents bluetooth is enabled on their computer.

Other ways to get FREE music is to go to the Alexa app>Music, Videos & Books>Music.  You will see the available music selections to "link" to your parents Echo Show.

I personally use iHeartRadio & Tunein.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:42:46 pm by Alpha Bitch »

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 02:58:53 pm »
as far as setting it up, I doubt you can do it from your location then ship it to them.  you need to use their cell phone number in order to get their contacts and their wifi.  It would be best if you go there and set it up if you feel they cannot do it for themselves.   

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2017, 09:01:19 pm »
Hi, I just figured out a way to do what you're asking about that seems to work. I suggest reading through everything before doing any of the steps - hopefully they'll make sense!

I also bought two Echo Shows to help me communicate with my elderly mother on a daily basis. Like you, I set up an amazon account for my mother. (Note: a prime membership is not necessary to access the basic features including video calling.) The only hitch may be setting up wifi access once your parents have the device. It is super simple to do (as you'll see when you set yours up on your own home wifi) but it does require knowing the wifi password. If you know it, then you can easily talk them through the steps on the phone once they receive the device.

Here are the steps I took to set up the devices and enable video calling:

First - login to your amazon account and deregister the device you'll be sending to your parents.

1) Plug in and turn on both Echo Show devices and connect them to your home wifi. Get them started updating. (It took mine about 10 minutes to complete updating.)  It is best if you set them up in separate rooms as far away from each other as possible - this will make testing out your set up easier later.

2) Install the Amazon Alexa app on your phone.

3) On a computer (not your phone), set up an Amazon account for your parents. It is helpful if you use an email account to which you have direct access. Be sure to make a note of the login information you create - you'll need to use it several times.

4) On your phone, login to your Amazon account on the Alexa app. It will immediately ask you to enable calling and messaging. Follow the prompts. You will need to enter your cell phone number in order to receive a text message to verify that you do in fact control that number. The app will ask to access your contacts in order to determine who you can call from your device and your app. (It compares the phone numbers in your phone's contacts list to phone numbers associated with an Echo device; those are the only contacts that show up in the Alexa app.) For me, we have multiple echos in our household, so I enabled "drop in" for my household only. Drop in is the Alexa feature that allows two Echos to connect with two-way audio or video communication (depending on the device being used) instantly. This is different from calling to an Echo device; initiating a call to an Echo requires the person you are calling to verbally accept the call. Drop in is the only way for multiple devices registered to the same Amazon account to communicate with each other. You can also allow other contacts outside your household permission to Drop In on you. I set my mother's Echo Show to allow me to Drop In on her because she would become confused by the calling feature but I did not enable her to drop in on me.

5) After you finish setting up your Echo device on the Alexa app, LOG OUT of the app. You access the log out feature through the settings menu - scroll all the way down and you'll see a button at the bottom of the settings list to "Sign Out". Once you've successfully signed out, close the app and then re-open it - THIS time, sign in using your parents amazon account that you just created. This is where you may need your parents on the phone with you because you're going to enter their cell phone number into the app this time. Like before, it will send a text message to that phone number and you'll need to enter that code into the app to prove you control the number. If your parents can text, that shouldn't be too confusing for them. If they cannot text, then perhaps a friend living near them can be there when you call to help them find the text message. Now, here's the tricky part - because you are using your phone to set this up, your parents' device will show the same contacts that you have. As long as you are listed as a contact in your own phone, this shouldn't be a problem - you will show up as contact for them and you can always block any of your contacts you don't want to be able to call them. Alternatively, you can temporarily remove those contacts from your phone before doing this step so they just won't show up on their device at all. This is in fact what I did. (Each time you login to the Alexa app, it updates your Alexa contacts from your phone contacts so when you add them back into your phone and login to the Alexa app as yourself, they will show up again.) Set up the permissions the way you want them on your parents' device - Drop In, etc. When you're finished with all of that, LOG OUT of the Alexa app and close it.

6) Re-open the Alexa app and login with your own Amazon account this time. You should now see your parents as a contact. Set things up the way you want them for yourself.

7) Now you get to check to see whether it's working! Go to one device and try to initiate a call to the other.  For me, it worked pretty instantly. You can play with them and adjust settings so it's easier for your parents. (My mother won't be able to adjust anything so I made it as simple as possible.)

As a side note, if you are a prime member and use Amazon photos, I think it's possible to share the Family Album with a non-prime account; that may allow you to set up the screen saver on your parents' Echo Show to display your family pictures. (I haven't done this yet which is why I am not sure about it.)

Good luck! I puzzled over this for a few days before finally landing on this as a solution.

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 11:37:56 am »
I bought two echo shows,  I haven't opened the boxes yet.  One unit is for me, the other for my dad in Argentina.  He doesn't own a cell phone, he doesn't have an Amazon account.  I was wondering if I could leave both units registered to my Amazon account, and we could communicate long distance with drop-in.  He really misses his grandkids, if this video setup is possible, it would be awesome.

Please advise,


Offline jwlv

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Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 01:08:29 pm »
If your dad doesn't have a cell phone and doesn't have an Amazon account how do you expect him to set up an echo show?

And part of the setup is to connect to WiFi. His wifi is surely to be different than yours. There are several pieces missing for your dad to be able to setup and use an echo show.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 07:31:39 pm by jwlv »

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 01:33:51 pm »
I did the same thing - purchased 2 echos, one for me and one for my 91 year old Mother (in a different state). They are both on my Amazon account. I set them both up in my home to be sure hers worked with mine. Then I visited her and gave her the Echo. All I had to do was connect to her wi-fi. We can both call and "drop-in". As long as you are the only one that will want to communicate with him, that works perfectly! It doesn't matter that you are not on the same wi-fi. However, if other family members want to drop-in/call him, that is problematic, as they will only see your Echo from your contact information.
I plan to change ours to different Amazon accounts so other family members can contact my Mom on her Echo, but have been struggling how to do so since my Mother does not have a smart phone or computer. (She has wi-fi in the house for caretakers and family members to use) I'm going to try the steps that Cami posted! (thank you, Cami!)

UPDATE: Moved my Mom's Echo to her own Amazon account, then followed Cami's suggestion of logging off of the Alexa app and logging back in with my Mom's account to set her up. (My niece was visiting with my Mom and helped me by resetting the Echo to factory defaults which deregisters it, and then setting it back up under my Mom's account). Now she has her own contact info. and any of the family with a smart phone or other device with Alexa or Alexa app can drop in on her! Of course, using the Alexa app, I have to add them to my phone contacts and then grant them drop-in permission on the Alexa app.

I must say, this is the GREATEST!!!  My Mother's dexterity and hearing was to the point that she was unable to talk on the phone, and I pretty much could not talk to her unless I traveled the long distance to visit. It has been this way for a couple years. Echo may have many good uses, but the very best to me is being able to talk to my Mother on a daily basis!!!  Seeing her is a bonus! My other family members are also happy that I opened this up to them, and Mother is getting lots of visitors now!

So again, the user does NOT have to have a smart phone or computer (but must have wi-fi).  But they do need a separate Amazon account, and the Alexa app on anyone's phone can be used to complete the setup - just has to log into the Echo owner's Amazon account. All of you with elderly parents out there - this is an awesome tool!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 11:47:00 am by suzyq »

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 06:40:58 pm »
Ok, I got as far as setting up on my iPhone for my 92 year old mother but apparently she needs a cell phone and doesn't have or could even use one. When I got to phone number & put my number in it sent error msg saying other users number. Spoke to Amazon Echo help desk and they switched my number to my motherís account but that removed it from my account. Did I miss something from suziq? As the last paragraph stated no cell required. It appeared the setup was without any cell. If so how did you do it? How did your parent get contacts loaded to Echo Show? Any help is much appreciated.

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 03:31:01 pm »
Cami, your post was great....

Your instructions are clear as to how to set up an ECHO SHOW for a parent...thank so much! At the end of your comment, you mentioned possibly sharing photo's (or prime music and video?) with your parent. Did you figure that one out?

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 02:06:22 pm »
My elderly mother does not have a cell phone to verify echo devices with amazon. What I did was sign her up for google voice on my computer which gave her a cell # to help verify amazon requirements. I added google voice to my cell # and everything is working. I just had deleted the contacts in my phone temperately and only kept contacts that she would use.

echo drop-in & non-local very-senior parents
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2018, 04:09:04 pm »

Yesterday I set up the non-local very-senior parents use case, without using parents cell # or their land-line #.
This enabled me to set 95% of it up at my home, since going to their house is a bit Going Through The Looking Glass.
Instead of using parents' phone numbers,
I used my fiancee's cellphone and my cellphone numbers:   
-  My home echo-show is attached to my fiancee's cellphone num.
- Parents echo-show is set up with my cellphone #, but at their home address.

I've tested it once via "drop-in" so far.   Will test it daily.    I wish I could aim the camera lower but it will do fine.

"Alexa, play cat videos" .


Offline jwlv

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Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 01:33:11 am »
I also don't like the angle of the camera on the Echo Show because I put it on a shelf, rather than on a desk. To angle it down a bit I put a couple of pink rubber erasers under it. And since the erasers are rubber, it is less likely to slip off and land on the floor. 

Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 02:46:56 pm »
Challenge Accepted Y'all.

Background: Senior Living at a residential location, not with me, YES wifi, no Amazon, and limited cell phone usage.

Solution: Amazon Show gifted by family for easy video communication.

Environment: WIFI at her location, Yes.
Users: Family with controlled access.
Types of use: Video Chatting, Drop in, Announcements, voice messaging, smart home remotes and features.
Setup by: Siotha - DIY - style. Completion date anticipated for SEpt 30 2018.

Today: Echo Show arrived. Unboxed, and setup update. Attempting to follow directions here.

Offline jwlv

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Re: Setting up Echo Show for my non-local very senior parents
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2018, 03:30:56 pm »
Sounds great! If you don't mind when you're done, make a video on YouTube and show us how you're using this technology with your parents.