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The memory care unit where my mother lives isn't allowing the Amazon Echo Show. My mother doesn't pick up the phone anymore. In short, she can't remember anything and sometimes how things work, like a telephone, but she is very sociable and sometimes lonely. The Amazon echo show has a feature that allows me to drop in on her and just show up on her dresser! She really took to it right away and liked it a lot, but the facility said it was against their rules and took it out of the room. I said I would sign a waiver, but it's not looking good so far. I would never put anyone in a facility that does not allow this type of device to communicate with a relative.

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Both Echo and Alexa are listening all the time and this is a form of audio surveillance. Read the rules for the facility regarding surveillance. If you can "pop in" any time, you may also be picking up video surveillance, which is invasion of privacy in the eyes of CMS.
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I'm thinking that Pamstegma is correct, and unless there is a way to show the administration that this would not be an invasion of privacy, or a way in which someone could or would use this in some sort of nefarious way, I'd doubt that they will accept such a device. It all goes back to privacy laws, especially in a health care environment, but I do see how it could be useful, sad really.
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The trouble with any internet connected communication is that it can be hacked, and virtually all organisations are vulnerable, and they are held responsible for any resulting breaches in privacy, and they are all understandably freaked out about it.

I'd be impressed if the facility had yet got round to devising a formal policy on these devices. But you're still entitled to ask them to give their reasons for depriving your mother of a means of communication that you have approved.

You could end up being an interesting test case - I will watch this space! Good luck with it, and a big shout-out to your mother for being such a clever techie lady :)
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I agree with you GardenArtist regarding all of the hacking. It's awful and most everything that is most important and that we may have thought was guarded very well turns out to not be safe!

That said, it is my connection, and does not belong to the "home". It's a private room and I agree to not hold them liable for anything related to it.

Personally, I think that they should be held to the same standard that many businesses are held to, and that is that we are all being recorded, police being a good example.

I'm sure that the idea of piping natural gas into homes, wiring homes with outlets of 110V with 20A of current were thought to be crazy. Sure, there are problems, but in general we all appreciate the lights, heat and cooking capabilities that this type of power gives us all and is considered a standard in the developed world. Few advancements come without any cost.

I like your suggestion and I think I will pull out the original agreement and see exactly what it says! The longer this "blackout" goes on, the stronger that I feel about it.
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Just thought I'd check in here. After a couple of months and a few heart-felt emails, they came up with a solution. They made it part of the formal level of care and it will be turned on at 7PM and off at 9PM, my choice of times. I made it even easier for them and connected it to a timer, so really they don't have anything to do. I'm perfectly happy with that solution and it seems to fit within their policy.

These are built in to TVs now, so eventually they will have to face this situation and I think they will have to allow it or risk losing customers.
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Yeah, I'd want to know what their reasoning is. Do the feel you are using it to "spy" on the staff? Do they worry about it being lost or damaged? I imagine most of it is that they aren't up on technology and don't understand exactly what it does or how helpful it is for your mother. You may need to educated them or recruit others to put outside pressure on them so they understand it is a device that allows someone to overcome a disability, just like a hearing aid or a fancy wheelchair are.
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Thank you for the responses. I appreciate it.

I don't see theft or breakage as being an issue. I'm certainly not concerned about either in this close-in situation on a memory unit and the unit itself is very robust.

I didn't see the rules, but I don't doubt that they exist. The reason that they gave was that it might be a HIPAA violation. I assured them that I would sign a statement approving this, since I have legal authority over my mother.

I have not actually heard a decision yet, but I'm guessing this type of situation is going to get a lot bigger and that it won't go away. Personally, I have no use for devices like this except in this situation. I liken it to police wearing body cameras. I can imagine that if I were a cop, I would not want to wear them, but I understand why they are becoming ubiquitous. Cameras are literally everywhere now, especially if you consider smart phone proliferation.

I wonder if telephones were considered as a type of privacy invasion when they started to become popular. I bet there were a lot of people who probably said no-way initially...
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I got an echo for my dad, private room during rehab, and had to get a internet booster to make it work in the remote part of the nursing home where he was. Well, I put it there, and the staff could not seem to NOT mess with it. Pull it out, look at both devices, I was losing my mind. In this case, it wasn't apparently because of some policy, it's that they just couldn't seem to keep their hands off it. I gave up and just put a small transistor radio in his room. So frustrating.
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I agree with Pam and Stacey. There's been a literal explosion of privacy violations by people videoing events, their neighbors, police, and more, and some people (including me) find this to be an invasion of privacy as well as unauthorized surveillance. And that includes drones, which can be very, very offensive and intrusive.

There's another issue beyond surveillance and it is invasion of privacy. "Just showing" up could result in some compromising situations for your mother, such as if she's getting dressed, or in a state of undress. While she's your mother, it still might make her feel uncomfortable.

And I imagine the staff wouldn't appreciate the intrusion either.


SouthHaven, have you read the Admission Agreement? I'm guessing the issue of surveillance or some form of it is included in the restrictions.

If there is such a provision, and you signed the Agreement, the facility could easily argue that you "knew or should have known" (standard legal language) that these types of devices are prohibited.
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So this is a two way thing video? She sees you and you see her? I don't think the Hippa rules apply to this situation. Once in a facility it becomes the persons home. The facility probably can't put equipment in Moms room but I see no problem with family doing it ecpecially since Mom likes it. They r afraid that you will "pop" in and see something they don't want u to see. I would fight it.
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