Updated July 12, 2022 – Amazon’s Alexa and it’s other related products like the Echo Show have many wonderful skills – 100,000 according to Amazon! Many of these are beneficial for seniors, like the Drop In Skill.
About The Echo Show Drop In Skill For The Elderly – The Drop In skill can be used by any Alexa device, including the Echo Show. It allows you to instantly connect to another person’s Alexa device – acting like an intercom. The person you are connecting to must have given you permission to do so at first, and then you can “drop in” on them. They do not have to answer in order for you to drop in.
This can be a wonderful way for children of aging parents to monitor their senior loved ones and also to check in on them. Of course, permission has to be initially given but then – it’s just a matter of activating the skill and when and if needed it can also be de-activated, of course.
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You may be thinking that this might be an “invasive” skill – after all – you would be initiating a video call with your elderly parent and the video would just begin without them even having to answer!
But – here’s a scenario where that might be useful.
A friend of mine is always worried about his Mom. You see, his mother suffers from diabetes and she has had a stroke in the past. Although she is able to live alone and functions well – she is still a high risk because of these medical conditions. She could faint or become dizzy due to a mini stroke or go into a diabetic coma.
If that were to happen – her family could, with the help of this drop in skill, check in on her periodically throughout the day to make sure that she is okay.
How To Set Up The Echo Show’s Drop In Skill
Just follow these instructions below to set up this skill.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone
- Tap on the hamburger menu in the top left corner (the 3 short horizontal lines)
- In the dropdown box tap on “Skills & Games”
- Tap on the magnifying glass on the top right of the screen
- Type in “calling and messaging” to search for this skill
- Tap on the Enable Skill button
- You will be asked to agree to their terms of service and to allow this program to access your contact list
- You then need to tap on the Communication Icon at the bottom of the Alexa app on your phone
- You then need to confirm your name, enable access to your contact list that is on your phone, verify your phone number via a text and allow Alexa to use your microphone and camera (if you haven’t already done that)
- Now tap on the profile icon at the top right of your Alexa app on your phone
- Your name should pop up with “My Profile & Settings” below it. Tap on your name.
- Enable the Allow Drop In option
- Now you are set up to receive Drop Ins. To drop in on other Alexa devices, then they need to allow permissions just as you did for your.
Can Alexa Drop In On Another House?
Yes, absolutely! Once the other house (or houses for that matter) has given you permission to Drop In via their Alexa app on their phone – you are set and ready to go.
Simply say “Alexa, drop in on (name of your contact)”
Alexa will connect you to the device that they gave the permission to.
Once you are finished, just say “Alexa, hang up.”
When you receive a Drop In call – you will hear a chime from your Alexa device and then you will be able to hear and/or see the person who is dropping in.
Pretty cool, right?
Can Alexa Drop In On Other Locations In The Same House?
Yes, absolutely. Just the same way that you can drop in on other locations outside, you can also connect to other Alexa products within the same home. This works very much like an Intercom system.
To use it simply say “Alexa, drop in on all devices” if you want to drop in on every Alexa device in your home.
But if you want to drop in on a specific device like the garage, just say “Alexa, drop in on the garage.” That’s if you named the device in the garage that same word.
Would Alexa Be Good For The Elderly?
There are so many wonderful Alexa skills that older adults and caregivers can utilize – it’s my opinion that the range of Alexa products are a wonderful asset in any senior’s home.
Here are just a few of the skills that can make a home safer and life easier for seniors.
- Alert A Buddy – One of the best features Alexa offers for seniors is the ability to set up someone as your “buddy” so that in case you need help you can ask Alexa to contact them immediately. This can alert several people that you assign to the Ask My Buddy program.
- Phone Calls – Making a phone call from your Echo Show is as easy as just say “Alexa, call [name].” Once you install the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone, it will pick up the contact list on your phone. Otherwise, you can add contacts manually to your Alexa app and then you can make a phone call to any Echo Show, landline or mobile phone. You can even make group calls!
- Show and Tell – A new skill launched in September 2019 is the Show And Tell that is used on the Echo Show. It gives anyone who is blind or visually impaired the opportunity to find out what they are holding simply by showing the product to the camera on the Echo Show. This currently works only for objects / products that have written text on them like a can of soup or a box of instant rice, etc.
- Find Your Cell Phone – You don’t have to be a senior to misplace your cell phone! This skill is very helpful – just ask Alexa to call your phone and you will hear it ringing. In addition – there are products that you can attach to objects such as keys so then if you misplace your keys you can just ask Alexa to find your keys for you. And you will then hear it beeping.
- Reminders and Notifications – Another great feature for anyone (but especially for seniors) is setting up Alexa to notify and remind you of events on your calendar or just daily events such as medication reminders. This feature works well for adults who are dealing with some cognitive decline issues such as mild dementia.
- Calling Uber or Lyft – For older adults who cannot drive, both Uber and Lyft have been an amazing ride sharing service that can make life so much easier.
- Alexa Guard – You can use Alexa to alert you if it detects the sound of an alarm (like a fire alarm or burglar alarm) or even the sound of breaking glass (if someone tried to break into your home through a glass pane or window).
- Listening To Books – With a subscription to Audible.com – you can listen to audio books. For seniors who have trouble reading or simply enjoy listening to books on tape – this is a great way to spend some leisure time.
- Controlling Lights – Instead of over-reaching from the sofa or the recliner to turn on or off the light (and possibly falling or pulling a muscle) – your senior loved one can just command Alexa to do that for them.
And there’s much more. You can read more information about how to set up these skills and how to use them as well in our article on How Can Alexa Help Seniors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Echo Show Without A Smartphone?
Well, I can tell you that to set up the Echo Show you need a smartphone that has the Alexa app on it – but you do not need the smartphone to continue using the Echo Show (or any Alexa device for that matter). So, if you know someone who has a smartphone- they can download the Alexa app and use it to set up your Echo Show BUT the problem here is that if your WiFi goes down or if there are any other issues with the connection or the device – you will need that smartphone to set it up again.