This is what talking with my mom looks like these days.
My mom, Ginny, is 97 and lives in assisted living. She is always cheerful, positive and grateful.
I last visited her in person on Saturday, 3/21. My sweet daughter, Talia, and my son, Michael, figured out and bought the Echo Show device, so we would be able to see and talk with her at the same time. I installed the Echo Show on 3/21. After that day, I stopped visiting her in person as the facility banned outside visitors.
We are glad to have this device. We use the “drop in” feature, so she does not have to answer. I had wondered if she would be able to hear us, but she can. We turned up the volume all the way on the Echo Show, and it is pretty loud. My mom also has to have her hearing aids in, with good working batteries. If I say, “I love you” and she says “okay”, then I know there is a hearing aid issue, and I contact the support staff. They are a great help with this.
The only other little glitch is that when the facility’s internet goes down, the device needs to be powered on again and the agreement “accepted”. Again, the support staff does this for us. Without their help, we would not be able to use the Echo Show.
Not visiting my mom in person is the hardest part of this whole ordeal for me. Using the Echo Show doesn’t quite replace visits, but it is better than just calling. The “drop in” feature is also critical as my mom doesn’t have to do anything. She just sees me appear, we talk, and then I disappear. I call two or three times a day. Others call her on it, too. So, she is getting lots of visits. She has seen our cat, the lake across the street, my Easter decorations, and when my sisters calls – her great, great grandson.
At her facility, the residents have been staying in their rooms since March 21. They do not go to the dining room. It kind of sounds lonely, but my mom actually loves sitting in her recliner, in front of her TV and eating her meals. Not that we can prove it, but we think she is eating better.
I so appreciate the workers at her facility. We have entrusted her care completely to them. While this is a very difficult time, there are good people, points of hope and still so much for which to be thankful.