Do you have older family members who live away from you but who need special care or attention? One service designed to help you check on them is Alexa Together, which is available through an Echo device for the person who requires your support.
Daily alerts allow you to learn if your loved one has used their Alexa device, while an activity feed shows you the person interactions with Alexa and other smart home devices. You can also set reminders on their Echo device and help them manage shopping lists and other activities.
If the Echo detects that the person has fallen, and you have a compatible third-party fall detection device(Opens in a new window), Alexa can notify emergency contacts. There’s even a 24/7 urgent response feature through which trained personnel will provide assistance for your loved one. Plus, other family members can join in to support them.
How Much Does Alexa Together Cost?
Alexa Together costs $ 19.99 a month, but there’s a six-month free trial through which you can test the service. Here’s how it works.
What You Need
Echo Show 5 (Photo: Amazon)
First, you’ll need an Echo device for the person who requires personal support. Any Echo device will suffice, though Amazon recommends an Echo Show if you want to be able to video chat with your loved one as well. An Echo Show is also the easiest option if you want to completely set up the device ahead of time and then ship it to your loved one.
As the caregiver, you do not need an Echo device as long as you have the Alexa app installed on your phone or tablet. However, you would require an Echo to use such features as Alexa Calling or Drop In and an Echo Show if you wish to chat by video with the other person. Further, you’ll need two separate Amazon accounts, one for you and one for the person in need of support.
Alexa Together Setup
To get started, create an Amazon account for the loved one if they do not already have one. You’ll need to provide a mobile phone number or email address. If the person does not have a phone or email account, you can always set up a dedicated number or an email address on their behalf. In fact, you might find it easier to create and manage the person’s mobile number or email account, especially if they’re unable to do it themselves.
Next, you’ll have to purchase and set up an Echo device for your loved one. You can always order the Echo through Amazon and then simply have it shipped to the person in need of care. But then how do you set up the Echo for them if they’re not able to do it themselves? Sure, you can do this yourself the next time you see them. But what if they live far away and you’re unable to visit them anytime soon?
Instead of having it shipped to the other person and waiting until the next time you visit them, you can have it shipped to yourself, perform the setup, and then ship it to your loved one. First, make sure you choose the gift option when you buy the device from Amazon so that it is not linked to your account. Then follow these steps to set up the Echo for the other person.
If you set up an Echo Show for your loved one, you can opt to have the device live stream a video of that person to your own Echo Show. This can be helpful if you’d like to be able to monitor them with their permission. To choose this option, tap Enable at the screen for Echo Show can help you monitor your home.
Activate Alexa Together
Now, it’s time to purchase the Alexa Together subscription. Browse to the Alexa Together website(Opens in a new window) and click the button for Start 6-month free trial.
At the next screen, choose your payment option and click Continue. At the Checkout page, click the button for Place your order.
Next, you’ll need to activate the service. Click the button for Activate Alexa Together.
Select your Amazon profile and click Continue. Confirm your first and last name. Click Continue.
At the next screen, Amazon tells you that you and the other person need to have unique Amazon accounts, that you’ll need to verify your phone number to set up Alexa Communications, and that you need to verify an emergency address for the Urgent Response feature. Click Continue.
At the next screen, click the button for Provide Support to indicate that you’re the caregiver.
Next, enter the first name and Amazon account email address for the other person. Click the button for Send Invitation.
The other person then needs to open the invitation email and click the button for Sign in to Amazon to View Invite, a task you may want to do on their behalf. At the Amazon website, you or your loved one confirm their region, Amazon account name, and first and last name.
At the next screen, the other person can view a video to understand how Alexa Together works and then click the Accept Invitation button.
At the next screen for Urgent Response, the other person clicks the Continue button to activate this feature. Alexa Together is activated.
As the final setup step, you should create a PIN to protect your loved one information so that you are the only one who can access it. To do this, open the Alexa app on your own device. Tap the More icon and then tap See More. Select Alexa Together.
At the screen prompting you to create a PIN profile, tap Continue. Tap Next. At the next screen, enter the one-time password to verify your phone number and tap Continue. Tap Next. Enter a four-digit PIN to protect and tap Save. Tap Done and then confirm your new PIN.
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Customize Alexa Together
Now it’s time to check out the different features. Return to the Alexa Together screen in your Alexa app. Swipe to the bottom of the screen and tap the icon for Alerts. Here, you can enable alerts so that you’re notified when the other person first uses Alexa each day or if no activity is detected during a certain time. Tap each of the two options to set a specific start and end time and tap Save.
Next, you can view the recent activity and interactions between your loved one and Alexa. View the notices under Today’s Recent Activity. Tap the link for View all activity to see interactions prior to the current day.
You might want to manage certain features for the other person. At the Alexa Together screen, tap the icon for Tips. Then tap the Learn More button for the entry for Create a reminder. Alternatively, just tap the Remote Assist icon at the top. Tap Contacts to set up specific Alexa contacts for your loved one. Tap Music and Podcasts to set up specific audio services.
Tap Reminders> Add Reminder. Type a name for the reminder, select a date, choose whether the reminder should repeat and how often, and then select a time. Tap Save.
Tap Shopping list to create a list of items for the other person. Finally, tap Voice Responses to adjust the way Alexa responds to a question or command.
Next, you can contact your loved one using a few different methods. At the top of the screen, tap Call to place a phone call and Message to send a text. Tap Drop in to drop in on the other person’s Echo device.
Alternatively, tell Alexa to contact your loved one. Say: “Alexa, call [person’s name]”Alexa, message [person’s name]”Or“ Alexa, drop in on [name of person’s Echo]. ” With an Echo Show on both ends, you can also see each other during a video call or drop in.
Add People to Alexa Together
Want to add more people to help support your loved one? Swipe to the bottom of the Alexa Together screen and tap Settings> Circle of Support> Manage. Tap the plus button next to Invite a member. Type their first name and email address. Tap Send Invitation. After that person accepts the invitation, they can act as a caregiver through their Alexa app and Echo device.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that emergency services are set up for your loved one. Go back to Settings at the Alexa Together screen. Tap the Manage link for Emergency Settings. Confirm that you’re listed as the contact, that Urgent Response is enabled, and that your loved one’s address is listed as the emergency address.
Finally, if you decide you want to cancel Alexa Together, either before or after the free six-month trial ends, browse to your Amazon subscriptions page(Opens in a new window). For Alexa Together, click the button for Cancel Subscription and confirm the cancellation.
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