Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

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eddot98
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Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by eddot98 »

I have searched the internet for an easy answer to this question without results. Before I get on the phone with Apple support and that whole process, I thought that maybe a Boglehead had done this before.
We bought a new iPad for my 93 year old MIL with dementia because staff at her nursing home say MIL enjoys using the facility’s iPad for games, coloring, free slots, etc. Prolonged use of the facility’s iPad isn’t fair to other residents. Also purchased was an Otterbox Defender case and we intend to get Apple Care. Cost wasn’t really an issue as MIL has some COVID relief money that needs to be spent and she already has too many clothes. An Apple ID and an email account will have to be set up for her. We need to set it up the iPad so that:
1. It isn’t password protected as different staff members would have to start up apps for MIL.
2. It doesn’t have a credit card associated with the iPad and Apple ID so no unauthorized charges can be made. We intend to only have free apps on it.
3. It should allow FaceTime so that DW can “visit” with MIL outside of normal visits. Those FaceTime calls would have to be arranged with staff.
4. Connected to nursing home WiFi.

iPad will be labeled with MIL’s name, be made part of her inventory so that nursing home is responsible if it goes mussing, and we will have to set up a charging schedule.

Anything else? Can anyone help? Thanks
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Are you asking for specific help on the actions you listed, or help in the form of additional ideas?
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eddot98
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by eddot98 »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:08 pm Are you asking for specific help on the actions you listed, or help in the form of additional ideas?
Both. I’m not sure how to set up the iPad and I’m not confident enough to think that I thought of everything.
Colorado Guy
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by Colorado Guy »

I would suggest a good pair of headphones to go along with the iPad, for both soothing music and for YouTube type videos. Headphones are better than apple earbuds as they wouldn't get lost as easily, but it would tend to mess up her hair a bit.

I would think that charging repeatedly will be difficult for someone with dementia. Wireless charging would be helpful.

Tied to the headphone idea, I don't know if binaural beats would be helpful for a dementia patient or not, but it may be something to look into. If in a nursing home, perhaps noise cancelling headphones would be helpful.

Consider blue light / computer glasses.

EDIT: I also expect you will need some level of spyware/malware protection on the ipad.

If you set this up, you will be her IT support center. As such, consider installing a zoom type app that permits you (as a remote support) to access their ipad as required. I considered doing this for my dad who had a number of computer issues that were difficult to diagnose when I was not in front of a keyboard that could access his computer. Would need to set up a shortcut Emergency button to simplify things
Last edited by Colorado Guy on Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gtaylor
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by gtaylor »

I haven't done it for a parent, but we've used the family features together with Screen Time to establish various limits for our children. It mostly works as advertised, as long as you stick to iphone/ipads and don't throw a Mac into the mix.

They have a bunch of parameters which I think cover what you want:

* You can pick only certain apps to be run
* You can disallow app and/or in-app purchases, or set them to be individually approved by you (you get a popup on your phone asking)
* You can limit communications in imessage and facetime to be only with people listed in the contacts app
* You can set time limits for usage.
* You can lock out most of the settings and things like that.

To work for you, you would also have to have an iphone or ipad, and add her icloud account to your family icloud account. That doesn't seem incompatible with how you are thinking about things, so it seems like it would be feasible.
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walkabout
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by walkabout »

Do you have an iPad?

This is probably the easiest path:
0. Do all of this at home, except for signing on to the facility WiFi).
1. Set up a gmail account for your MIL. You will keep the email and the password. Forward the email to your own email so you don’t miss anything important.
2. Create an Apple ID using the gmail address.
3. You might need some method of payment to sign up for the App Store, even if you only want free apps. I’m not sure. If so, an Apple gift card can be used, if you don’t feel,comfortable,using your own credit card.
4. If you already have an Apple ID for yourself, you should be able to add the new Apple ID as part of a family account. That will give you some management capabilities, like allowing/approving (or not) purchases by the new Apple ID.
5. Download any apps that you think your MIL will need/want.
6. It sounds like you won’t need to set up email.
7. If your MIL is not capable of texting, you can skip enabling iMessage.
8. When you go to the facility to deliver the iPad, sign on to the facility WiFi.
9. Plan for who (probably you) will do any maintenance on the iPad (like applying iOS updates).
10. Plan for who will retain custody of the iPad and will be responsible for charging it.
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by abuss368 »

eddot98 wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:17 pm I have searched the internet for an easy answer to this question without results. Before I get on the phone with Apple support and that whole process, I thought that maybe a Boglehead had done this before.
We bought a new iPad for my 93 year old MIL with dementia because staff at her nursing home say MIL enjoys using the facility’s iPad for games, coloring, free slots, etc. Prolonged use of the facility’s iPad isn’t fair to other residents. Also purchased was an Otterbox Defender case and we intend to get Apple Care. Cost wasn’t really an issue as MIL has some COVID relief money that needs to be spent and she already has too many clothes. An Apple ID and an email account will have to be set up for her. We need to set it up the iPad so that:
1. It isn’t password protected as different staff members would have to start up apps for MIL.
2. It doesn’t have a credit card associated with the iPad and Apple ID so no unauthorized charges can be made. We intend to only have free apps on it.
3. It should allow FaceTime so that DW can “visit” with MIL outside of normal visits. Those FaceTime calls would have to be arranged with staff.
4. Connected to nursing home WiFi.

iPad will be labeled with MIL’s name, be made part of her inventory so that nursing home is responsible if it goes mussing, and we will have to set up a charging schedule.

Anything else? Can anyone help? Thanks
Did you purchase at the Apple store? When buying at the store as part of the purchase process you unwrap and setup right there with there assistances. It also provides a great opportunity to ask many questions. I have always learned much by doing this. You may be able to book a follow appointment by calling the store at no cost.
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mmmodem
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by mmmodem »

Absolutely password protect the iPad. If it is stolen, then the account could be compromised. Even if no CC or private data is contained within, I'm sure an enterprising thief can find some use for it. But if it was locked it would be useless. iPads now have TouchID so anyone helping her can have her use her fingerprint to unlock. Have it recognize both thumbs and both index fingers.

I intended for only free apps for my child's iPad as well. But after time, they wanted some simple. Apple now has family accounts so I can place my child under my family account. In addition to requiring my child's finger print, anything that costs money requires my authorization on my phone or iPad in order for it to download. I have some control over their account remotely like find my iPad.
RetiredAL
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by RetiredAL »

OP,

I done similar with me elder Dad, but with a I-Mac. DW uses a I-PAD so I am familiar with it to.

1. No matter what you think, they will be times it will request/need the I-Pad password. Use a pin and mark it on the I-Pad for the staff. Although the I-Pad will try to get you to use 6 digits, you can do only 4. My Dad's I-Mac and E-mail passwords are taped to his keyboard.
2. As suggested, get a G-mail account and use it for the Apple Account with its own unique password. Auto-forward G-mail so you get everything. An option is to use your regular e-mail address. If you want Apple Cloud Storage for backup (recommended), it needs a credit card. 50G is $.99/month. Set the I-Pad / Apple-id to require Apple Logon validation to purchase anything. Having a separate apple-id account protects you from someone buying stuff at the Apple Store. This is how parents keeps their kids from buying stuff and Apple has it down pat.
3. The I-pad speakers OK for general audio. I suggest marking the Audio up/down buttons.
4. Make sure you cell phone is used for both I-Pad and Apple-id. It's needed for password resets.
5. You'll find many of the staff will have I-phones, thus they understand how all Apple products work.
6. Normally, FaceTime uses the Apple-ID e-mail address, but it can be set to a different E-mail.

Edit to Add: The I-Pad 5 yo Grandson uses has this wonderful rubber case. It's different than my Son's Otter Case, which is more rigid. Grandson has not broken the I-Pad in the 3 years they have had the I-Pad. My Son is a Wild-land Fireman and his goes everywhere. He does have a hard travel case.
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celia
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by celia »

Have you considered using your own money to buy one or two more iPads for the nursing home? Let them be in charge of tracking and maintaining them. This will also cut down on competition for screen time.

If your mom will use it in the same location each time, consider a "lock" to keep it chained to a table leg. (This assumes no-one but staff is able to lift a table to remove the chain.)
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/targus-def ... &gclsrc=ds
BuddyJet
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by BuddyJet »

Get list of apps to match home’s.

Take screen shot or picture of home’s iPad so you can set her’s to match.

Go through home’s iPad settings to see how they locked down machine to prevent changes or additions. Match settings.
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palaheel
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by palaheel »

We buy iPads online from Apple, and they will engrave for free. That would identify the device as MIL's and not the facility's.
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Katietsu
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by Katietsu »

I think your plan is on the right track. I think some of the other suggestions needlessly complicate things for your intended use.

You can set up the iPad at your house. Signing in to the nursing home WiFi is the only thing you will need to do on site.

I agree with the suggestion to set a gmail just for the mother in law. Use the same password for the gmail as the AppleID. Make it easy in case you must provide it to the staff. How about MIL’s first name and room number? (eg Judith23). You will also need to create a 4 digit PIN even though you can then go into settings to avoid having to use it most of the time. I am sure you are aware that suggesting that locking the iPad is no big deal because you can set up touch ID is a ridiculous comment when the user is a 93 year old dementia patient.

You do not need to load any form of payment even though the setup will make it seem like you do. Do not believe it. I can not figure out what the response indicating you might want the 50GB iCloud storage service is talking about for your use. I have the service my phone and my documents but not for the iPad that used to play games. If you do want to have the ability to use a paid app, you can just get a $10 gift card and load it to her Apple account. You can even do this from your house while she is at the nursing home as you do not need to be on her device.

I understand the usefulness of setting up a screen sharing app when you are trying to provide technical assistance remotely. I have done this with different people and different devices. But would your MIL be able to follow your instructions to enable remote sharing and then to get help from you? I suspect that you will be relying on the nursing home staff for this type of assistance. So I am guessing that this is not relevant in your case.

I am not sure how I feel about including this iPad in your family sharing circle. I would be tempted not to because my approach would be to wall this iPad off from as much as possible. I would want to be able to hand it to a criminal and have nothing useful to them, information wise. Go with Livesoft’s approach that there is no reason to lock a door if there is nothing to steal.

The only thing personal that will need to be on there is contact information. But only use the needed identifiers. So first names or nicknames only. You can include a photo if that would be easier for her to recognize.

Set up “find my iPhone” or “FindMy” or whatever it is called. (It is actually called different things in different places within the Apple ecosystem from my perspective.) As long as the iPad is on and connected to WiFi, you will be able to locate it. Go one step further and set it up to be followed on your device in what used to be Find Friends but is now part of Find My-People. The iPad will need to give permission to be followed. Just make sure you set this up to be one way. You want to follow the iPad without the iPad following your every movement.

I think you are on the right track. Come back if you get stuck.
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tractorguy
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by tractorguy »

I've set up my 95 year old MIL with an IPAD in her apartment. I agree with all of Katietsu''s comments. I had not thought of the headphone option and that sounds like a good idea. I'd consider bluetooth headphones so that she doesn't have to plug anything in, but she would have to remember to charge them or one of the staff would have to do it. I have heard that some hearing aids have blue tooth capability. Do hers? If so, you may be able to connect them to the Ipad directly. I've not done this so can't tell you how well it would work.

My MIL doesn't have dementia issues but is very hard of hearing and hasn't had any computers or smart phones until we got her the IPAD last year so teaching her how to use it has been interesting. Also, her motor skills are somewhat impaired so she has trouble with the volume controls and typing anything.

She primarily uses it for Words with Friends, some other games, and for Facetime meetings with her children during Covid times. Do set it up before you give it to her and do check it out in her nursing home with it connected to their network before you leave. Set it up so that the operating system doesn't update automatically so you can do it when you're there. After an update, login and make sure that any changes don't confuse her before you leave. Plan on being her support system and expect to get a call if anything changes. If you aren't able to get there to help her with problems, try to find someone local who can. Unfortunately I live 1200 miles from my MIL and telephone support is an exercise in frustration for both of us. I am using my wife's sister as local support. Generally she hasn't been needed except sometimes after I updated the operating system and missed a change.

If you are going to be doing this, consider buying an Ipad for yourself and mirroring the installation on hers. If she reports a problem, then you can duplicate it on yours and solve it before you go over and play with hers.

I've not been able to find an Ipad app that I trust that allows remote login and debugging and that is supported by Apple.
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coynerone
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by coynerone »

Have you heard about Grandpad. I suggest you look in to it. My 91 year old dad has had it for 3 weeks and it changed our lives. I would rate Grandpad support 100 out of 10. Yes that good.
Tdubs
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by Tdubs »

Another addition I'd suggest for her. Alexa. We gave one to my 101-year-old aunt who lives in a NH, and she loves it. "Alexa, play Tommy Dorsey." The music of her youth soothes her.
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eddot98
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by eddot98 »

Thanks for all the responses. A few are especially helpful and others not so much, but that’s probably my fault for not explaining the situation fully both with MIL’s cognitive abilities and with the visitation protocol at her nursing home currently. MIL’s dementia is such that she doesn’t initiate anything. She is content to sit quietly and twiddle her thumbs or count things, fingers, etc. and people watch. Although she is capable of speaking, she almost never does. She doesn’t have hearing aids, but probably needs them. Using headphones, especially ones that require charging is beyond her capabilities. She does like community sing alongs. Staff will have to get her the iPad and start whatever app that she will use - probably games, coloring, YouTube videos, etc. She is unable to text, make calls, etc., and any FaceTime will have to be arranged with staff.

Visits at the nursing home must be prearranged and consist of staff bringing her outside in her wheelchair to sit at least 6 feet away and we get to yell at her for a half hour and she smiles at us. We don’t get to even touch her, so setting up a fingerprint reader would be for staff to do. Will probably add a passcode, one that the staff there will have to know.

Let’s try to answer suggestions one by one. I think I explained why no headphones. I know that we will be the IT support, kind of used to that with other relatives. Thanks Walkabout for several good suggestions. No, I didn’t buy it at the Apple Store. We are not going to stores and we got 5% back from Amazon using the Chase Amazon card. I expect that staff will be with her when she is using the iPad, so they will help with the controls. We got an Otterbox Defender for it. Locking it down is a good idea, have to figure that one out, but we can’t go into the nursing home right now. Not buying anything for that nursing home, they have collected enough of the family’s money in the past 4 years. Thank you Katietsu for several great suggestions. Thanks tractorguy, but headphones of any type would further complicate a tough situation. Already have the new iPad, so Grandpad is not an option. That is, unless the iPad doesn’t work out, so maybe that would. We will keep it in mind. An Echo device would be nice, but others would have to control it for her and that also involves setting her up with an Amazon account. Also, she doesn’t know enough to ask an Echo for anything. Another complication.

So, I set it up this week and deliver it Friday, wish me luck. Thank you to all for helping.
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by Dottie57 »

Katietsu wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:24 pm I think your plan is on the right track. I think some of the other suggestions needlessly complicate things for your intended use.

You can set up the iPad at your house. Signing in to the nursing home WiFi is the only thing you will need to do on site.

I agree with the suggestion to set a gmail just for the mother in law. Use the same password for the gmail as the AppleID. Make it easy in case you must provide it to the staff. How about MIL’s first name and room number? (eg Judith23). You will also need to create a 4 digit PIN even though you can then go into settings to avoid having to use it most of the time. I am sure you are aware that suggesting that locking the iPad is no big deal because you can set up touch ID is a ridiculous comment when the user is a 93 year old dementia patient.

You do not need to load any form of payment even though the setup will make it seem like you do. Do not believe it. I can not figure out what the response indicating you might want the 50GB iCloud storage service is talking about for your use. I have the service my phone and my documents but not for the iPad that used to play games. If you do want to have the ability to use a paid app, you can just get a $10 gift card and load it to her Apple account. You can even do this from your house while she is at the nursing home as you do not need to be on her device.

I understand the usefulness of setting up a screen sharing app when you are trying to provide technical assistance remotely. I have done this with different people and different devices. But would your MIL be able to follow your instructions to enable remote sharing and then to get help from you? I suspect that you will be relying on the nursing home staff for this type of assistance. So I am guessing that this is not relevant in your case.

I am not sure how I feel about including this iPad in your family sharing circle. I would be tempted not to because my approach would be to wall this iPad off from as much as possible. I would want to be able to hand it to a criminal and have nothing useful to them, information wise. Go with Livesoft’s approach that there is no reason to lock a door if there is nothing to steal.

The only thing personal that will need to be on there is contact information. But only use the needed identifiers. So first names or nicknames only. You can include a photo if that would be easier for her to recognize.

Set up “find my iPhone” or “FindMy” or whatever it is called. (It is actually called different things in different places within the Apple ecosystem from my perspective.) As long as the iPad is on and connected to WiFi, you will be able to locate it. Go one step further and set it up to be followed on your device in what used to be Find Friends but is now part of Find My-People. The iPad will need to give permission to be followed. Just make sure you set this up to be one way. You want to follow the iPad without the iPad following your every movement.

I think you are on the right track. Come back if you get stuck.
Yes! Set up with Find my iPad!
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PalmQueen
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by PalmQueen »

You've gotten a lot of good advice so far.

My addition is to get a protective case that's distinctive then use a label-maker to put her name on it in 1" high letters.
Maybe add your phone number or way to contact you as well.

Here's a link to a discussion thread on iPad cases:
viewtopic.php?t=313854

You could go with a floral design:
https://www.amazon.com/MoKo-Case-iPad-G ... 2JSW7?th=1

This one has a magnetic back which may be useful if there's a place in her private area where it could be always stored:
https://www.amazon.com/ZUGU-CASE-Genera ... 38PFP?th=1

There are also some kid-proof utilitarian styles that come in bright colors.

Anyway, lots of choices depending on what works for you.
I'm thinking you want it to be unique so everyone can see at a glance that this belongs to her.
(It's not just the residents who tend to wander.)

All the best to you in finding ways to help your MIL and wife find ways to deal with these especially trying times.
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tractorguy
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by tractorguy »

I'm sorry to hear how far your MIL's dementia has progressed. Since the facility staff are going to be starting all apps for her, you should set it up to make interaction with it as much like the devices that they already have as possible. Does the facility have an IT department (either an internal expert or outsourced)? If so, I'd contact them and ask if they have a written procedure for setting up the Ipads the facilities already have. Most IT support organizations these days try to follow standard procedures whenever possible to minimize the opportunities for malware or hackers and simplify the support burden.

I also agree with PalmQueen's recommendation for a label and a distinctive case. I'd also enable the "Find My" app on the Ipad, even if this isn't standard for the facility.

It's been 9 months since I set up my MIL's Ipad so I'm a little fuzzy on the details. I remember that I used a gmail account I had for her to set up an Apple account that was then used to set up the Ipad. Make note of the login credentials for this Apple account, you'll need them at some point in the future. If you set up an unlock code for the Ipad, also make note of this. Even if you turn it off later, you'll need it to make changes to the security settings of the Ipad.

I've got my MIL's gmail account set up to forward a copy all her mail to my personal gmail account and have a rule in gmail that highlights it. She doesn't use email but I am monitoring it in case she accidently triggers a scam.
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swengineer
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Re: Set up new iPad for MIL with dementia in nursing home

Post by swengineer »

This is a tough situation to be in. My MIL had milder dementia but greatly struggled with technology, so we elected to not use very much.

One other thing to consider using is Mobile Device Management, MDM software. This is something a school or an enterprise would use to manage their devices. It would allow you to remotely install apps, set a WiFi password, track and remotely erase the device if necessary. It also can lock down the iPad in various ways.

I have not used MDM software, but would investigate the use of it in this situation. There are numerous MDM providers out there. Anybody with MDM experience have suggestions?
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