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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mom is in a nursing home and can barely pick up and hold the room landline phone for a few minutes due to Parkinsons. She asked us to buy her a cell phone as it will be lighter and she can park it on or near her bed.

Mom needs one key feature for her to make and receive calls: a high quality voice recognition system that can hear her weak voice. For example, when she make a call (family will program in phone numbers she will use for family and friends) she needs to simply say "call Suzy Smith" in a low voice and it will do so.

Of course, the phone should also be size of a smart phone as she can't hold the tiny basic phone she used to have. Mom will need the other usual things disable people need, like large display letters/numbers for visibility. She can't use keypad buttons, or scrolling, due to Parkinson's. Thus critical need for voice actuation.

Is there an online company that sells phones only and is known to be the best of all such companies, whose customer/technical service help is uniformly outstanding and has a large selection of product so we can have full confidence they will select the proper phone to buy and know for sure the phone has this feature?

For example, if I want to buy a camera, B&H Photo in NYC is #1 in the world. If I want to buy a car stereo, Crutchfield has amazing employees that know their product inside out. I am not seeing a company that specializes in phones with such consistently exellent technical help.

There is a vast amount of phones for sale online, and I've read through a ton of articles to find the right product, and need to hand this off to a product expert at this point.

We got Mom a Jitterbug which looked promising a few years ago, but it has no voice recognition feature that we could see, and it required an upward swiping motion to get to the key menu's where she can select who she wants to call. Once again, Parkinson's rules out any use of the fingers.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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Why not a cordless phone? There are more options for handsets.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

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M.R. Ducks
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"TURGID FLUX"
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I've never seen a cordless phone with voice recognition, but there is this:

I'll bet the voice recognition for this device would have trouble understanding someone with Parkinson's... but you never know.
Many states have programs to have assistive phones loaned out. Especially for hearing impaired which is a major need. I got one for my mom with huge buttons and memory dial. No cost, just mail it back when no longer needed.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

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I knew a lady in a nursing home who had a "normal" phone that kind of looked like an office phone with a huge keypad. It had one keypad with the normal numbers and then another keypad where you could put someone's picture (or write a name on a piece of paper) on the very large buttons which worked just like speed dial. The person just had to press speaker and then the person's button and it would call them.
 

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I knew a lady in a nursing home who had a "normal" phone that kind of looked like an office phone with a huge keypad. It had one keypad with the normal numbers and then another keypad where you could put someone's picture (or write a name on a piece of paper) on the very large buttons which worked just like speed dial. The person just had to press speaker and then the person's button and it would call them.
An Echo device from Amazon might be your best bet, if wi-fi is available at your mother's nursing home. She wouldn't have to hold it at all and Alexa has about the best voice recognition system out there.

Just an idea.
This. Maybe an LTE mifi or router if WiFi isn’t available. We did some testing where Alexia connected to a vender API providing some pretty technical and safety critical information. Pretty impressed it could figure out my ******* pronunciation of cities like Kotzebue and Savonga, AK, Borinquen and Ponce, PR, Sault Ste Marie, etc. Tallahassee vs Tallassee (AL), etc. There is a a whole lot more use of Alexia than you would guess, like AWS, Amazon markets there technology to a wide audience. I don’t think you will find a better VR system out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An Echo device from Amazon might be your best bet, if wi-fi is available at your mother's nursing home. She wouldn't have to hold it at all and Alexa has about the best voice recognition system out there.

Just an idea.
Thank you very much, and yes the voice recognition needs to be top notch especially due to Mom's weak voice and that we have found it is the norm in nursing homes for patients to have their belongings regularly moved out of reach.

Is Echo another name for the Amazon Alexa device which Mom used to have and loved it for playing music she requested? If Alexa is the same and can play both music and call and receive calls from family members, that would be great. Or is Echo used for a different purpose than Alexa?

Either way, is Echo and/or Alexa easy to set up for telephone use and is their a monthly cost (like a phone bill) that one pays to get this service? I seem to recall Alexa, at least for music, was free in the model my brother had gotten her. The Alexa I think stopped working or disappeared at the Nursing home, so we've got to get Mom music and telephone services back to her to keep her mind sharp as she is bedridden and their is little social interaction due to the pandemic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was just going to suggest that.
Alexa has many uses, voice phone being only one of them.

We have 4 in the house. Works great!

OK, so Alexa is the same as Echo? different names for the same device? Is it easy to set up for a non techie person like myself? I would have to enter all key phone numbers/names into the device, is that about the only work to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've never seen a cordless phone with voice recognition, but there is this:

I'll bet the voice recognition for this device would have trouble understanding someone with Parkinson's... but you never know.
I have thought of this type of phone, the drawback is with a stationary larger type of phone like this (compared to a cell phone) is it must be placed on a large, non movable surface like and end table so Mom can reach it consistently. At her nursing home I found that the landline stationary phone like the one in the link you have here is usually placed on her rolling food cart (the type that slides over the patient's bed with their food on it) and often the staff moves it away when they have to clean Mom, take her temp, etc. Then the phone is out of reach and staff is too busy or unaware that Mom can't use her phone or answer incoming calls-quite frustrating when one is bedridden and infirm.

Second possible issue is I am not sure if nursing homes will allow us to unplug their landline phone and plug in one we buy for Mom. Also the nursing homes landline phone needs to have a "9" and possibly a "1" dialed before the main number Mom wants to call--not an issue for a voice activated phone like one you linked here but not sure if voice activated phone would work through nursing home's phone port due to the way their phone is configured to work.

All said, a possibility for this type of phone but would prefer a smart phone size cell she can keep velcroed to her bed rail with a long extension cord glued to the charging socket so it will always be charging and most importantly so staff can't inadvertantly move Mom's phone out of her reach where she can't get at it--this latter issue is the most difficult for bedbound patient's getting at their stuff, phone or otherwise. Things, including end tables, etc, just keep getting moved out of the way every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many states have programs to have assistive phones loaned out. Especially for hearing impaired which is a major need. I got one for my mom with huge buttons and memory dial. No cost, just mail it back when no longer needed.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Good point, and they'll be more likely to know the needs of bed bound seniors in a nursing home as regards best features in a phone. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I knew a lady in a nursing home who had a "normal" phone that kind of looked like an office phone with a huge keypad. It had one keypad with the normal numbers and then another keypad where you could put someone's picture (or write a name on a piece of paper) on the very large buttons which worked just like speed dial. The person just had to press speaker and then the person's button and it would call them.
Yes, I've seen this type and it looks possible--but as I mentioned to another poster in this thread, with stationary type large style phones (non cell phones) somehow staff always moves them out of reach of Mom on a regular basis during course of their duties. A cell phone can be attached by a cable to Mom's bedrail and hopefully that will keep it from getting moved out of her reach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This. Maybe an LTE mifi or router if WiFi isn’t available. We did some testing where Alexia connected to a vender API providing some pretty technical and safety critical information. Pretty impressed it could figure out my *** pronunciation of cities like Kotzebue and Savonga, AK, Borinquen and Ponce, PR, Sault Ste Marie, etc. Tallahassee vs Tallassee (AL), etc. There is a a whole lot more use of Alexia than you would guess, like AWS, Amazon markets there technology to a wide audience. I don’t think you will find a better VR system out there.
Yes, Mom's nursing home has Wifi and good to hear of positive reports on high quality of Alexa Voice Recognition--will be looking into Alexa thanks.
 

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Yes, Mom's nursing home has Wifi and good to hear of positive reports on high quality of Alexa Voice Recognition--will be looking into Alexa thanks.
Yes, Mom's nursing home has Wifi and good to hear of positive reports on high quality of Alexa Voice Recognition--will be looking into Alexa thanks.
You could probally borrow a unit and take it to the nursing home for her to try. If she can get songs to play, she’s probally good.
 

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OK, so Alexa is the same as Echo? different names for the same device? Is it easy to set up for a non techie person like myself? I would have to enter all key phone numbers/names into the device, is that about the only work to do?
Sorry about the delay, power outage here.

Yes Alexa and Echo, and Dot are "the same", sorta.
Alexa is the name of the lady (A-I) who talks to you on the Echo device.

If she had one before that was stolen, then yes, same thing. Plays music, etc. You talk to it like a person. I'm constantly asking her time, weather report, news, and as a spell check. Just bought some Alexa enabled light bulbs, so "Alexa, lights on, dim 50%, turn Blue". Works great.

No additional phone charges that I have seen. BONUS, I know for sure you can talk Echo to Echo like intercom, even to another state.

You can get Alexa app free on your Android cell phone too from app store, probably iPhone too
 

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I would ask the home what they suggest, and what is allowed. I doubt a privacy killer like an echo would be allowed, the staff would not like to be monitored remotely. It would be an excellent way to keep the staff on their toes though.

FWIW Nothing expensive, good chance it will be stolen. FIL was in for a short stint after major trauma surgery. His tablet was gone within the first week. The home called the police and every thing, interviewed all the staff. But they seemed top notch for us, we were impressed with the staff. But the problem is, people were wandering around, friends, family of patients and probably anyone can come in off the streets and pretend to see granny, etc.. The front desk was only manned up until 4:30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
G
Sorry about the delay, power outage here.

Yes Alexa and Echo, and Dot are "the same", sorta.
Alexa is the name of the lady (A-I) who talks to you on the Echo device.

If she had one before that was stolen, then yes, same thing. Plays music, etc. You talk to it like a person. I'm constantly asking her time, weather report, news, and as a spell check. Just bought some Alexa enabled light bulbs, so "Alexa, lights on, dim 50%, turn Blue". Works great.

No additional phone charges that I have seen. BONUS, I know for sure you can talk Echo to Echo like intercom, even to another state.

You can get Alexa app free on your Android cell phone too from app store, probably iPhone too
If Echo allows for free phone calls why would anyone have a landline phone in their house, the latter of which comes with a monthly bill? (I can understand that Echo would not replace cell phones due to their mobility advantage).

Can Echo handle all main types of calls, that is, Echo to basic and smartphones, both incoming and outgoing?

I have a basic/dumb flip phone, can I both call Mom's Echo as well as her calling me? Or is a smartphone needed (you mentioned an app, and I would think I can't load an app to my basic phone).
 

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G

If Echo allows for free phone calls why would anyone have a landline phone in their house, the latter of which comes with a monthly bill? (I can understand that Echo would not replace cell phones due to their mobility advantage).

Can Echo handle all main types of calls, that is, Echo to basic and smartphones, both incoming and outgoing?

I have a basic/dumb flip phone, can I both call Mom's Echo as well as her calling me? Or is a smartphone needed (you mentioned an app, and I would think I can't load an app to my basic phone).
I'm pretty sure Echo uses VOIP (voice over internet protocol) like Magic Jack. Many are free or inexpensive, like Skype.

Pretty sure you need a smart phone to set up, but maybe computer.

I rarely use mine for calls, so can't give better answers.
I'd recommend a web search. Here's one to start. How to Call Someone From Your Amazon Echo
 
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