Best device configuration for slight dementia?

FWIW, I don’t think anyone should have AirDrop configured for “Everyone”.

I have my devices set to receive from “Contacts Only”. So I can share files with my friends and family, but strangers can’t send me anything.


Yes, definitely, I agree.

This is yet another difficult topic and the technology companies are not really giving us the tools to help.

Great suggestions, except you still get alert bugs (red dots for unseen content) on the Phone app, specifically for Recents (missed calls). Since Apple insists on making this tab instantly dial any number you even hover your finger over, it is a lingering problem because those little dots are a tantalizing lure for many people. Especially from older generations where it was considered rude to NOT call someone back.

Recents is the area perhaps most at fault for accidental calls (or “butt dials”). It does not help that the different “tabs” in the Phone app use the same style and color scheme. Except, unlike the other tabs, Recents loses its label at the top when you scroll down. This makes it very easy to mistake Recents for something else. Combine this with trigger-happy dialing if someone is just trying to view information and you have potential problems.

There are 3rd party SMS/Call Reporting apps, but you open a very large can of worms there (ie. security, shared information, etc.)

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The Focus settings (DND, Personal, Work, etc.) can be set not to show badges when the focus is active.

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Thanks Doug and @macguyver for pointing that out. I’m learning a lot.

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I’m noting a problem/dilemma that could be interesting for this thread. We’re changing two factor authorization (2fa) for all Mom’s logins to my brother’s iPhone to thwart new scamming. But ironically this is difficult with an AppleID! Mom’s iPhone is set as a trusted device, which seems to be necessary in order for the iPhone to be connected to her iCloud, photos, email, etc, which we want. But then the iPhone is prioritized for 2fa! We want instead that one of the prioritized telephone number be the only way approve logins and changes to the AppleID. But I can’t see any way to change this.

Let me rephrase the the problem/dilemma that I described above. It’s a problem related to AppleIDs that we really need to solve:

Is it possible to give access to iCloud, email, Photos, Music etc, without making the device an AppleID “trusted device?”

Whatever device we decide on in the end for Mom - be it an iPad and/or continuing to user her iPhone 6s Plus, or her MBA - we want her to be able to send and receive email, access her photo library in Photos and maybe be able to listen to music in Music, while at the same time minimizing vulnerability.

But as far as i can tell, that would require the devices to be “trusted devices” for her AppleID, which in turn prioritizes the devices for 2fa, which then makes her AppleID and iCloud content vulnerable to scammers who could convince her to approve an access atempt. Do I understand correctly? If so, is there some way around this? Maybe there is a level of protections I’m missing?

In my experience having my iPhone as an additional trusted device for my late father’s Apple ID, any time 2fa was required, the notification would pop up on both his devices (iPhone and iPad Pro), as well as my iPhone simultaneously.

In fact since he passed away (only five months ago :frowning:), I have had his iPad Pro in my possession (as I’m in charge of editing his memoirs), whereas my mom still has his iPhone though turned off.

A couple of months ago when I needed to do something with his Apple ID, I had no trouble doing the 2fa on my iPhone, when I also saw the notification pop up on his iPad Pro — while his iPhone (the original number associated with his Apple ID) was off.

I don’t know if this helps you, but perhaps you could somehow convince your mom to ‘ignore’ such simultaneous notifications, and just let your brother deal with them?

Strange. Even though by brothers iPhone tel no. is listed, 2fa notifications are only sent to my mothers iphone.

Sorry, my bad! It was not my iPhone that got the simultaneous notification (with map), but my own iPad that’s also a trusted device of my dad’s Apple ID:

This is because Apple sends notifications with map to ALL trusted devices simultaneously, while trusted phone numbers would only receive a text/SMS with authorization code upon request. (As when one did not or cannot receive notifications cum map for some reason.)

To wit:

NB however, one can actually remove a trusted phone number but without removing the actual phone as a trusted device. In this case my dad’s phone number isn’t even among the two trusted numbers, whereas his iPhone X remains a trusted device.

Which means that his iPhone X retains full privileges under his Apple ID, complete with 2fa notification with map, whereas his actual phone number cannot receive the 2fa code by text.

I hope this isn’t too convoluted, but my hope is that if you can add your brother’s iPhone as one of your mom’s trusted devices (instead of a trusted number), then he will receive the simultaneous notification with map, too.


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These words and the continuing data are very helpful in a big picture view of 2fa notifications – Apple provides snippets of data from various closeup views but does not tie these views into a coherent overview.

Thank you for this help.


If the Apple ID is an iCloud email account, if your brother just adds the account as a mail account to his phone, he will start getting the 2FA notices as a trusted device (as opposed to trusted phone number - different things.) If it’s not an iCloud mail account (or or, then he should also be able to do so by logging out of his own Apple ID on his phone, and then logging in to your Mom’s (which will make it a trusted device.) Then he can log back out of her account and log back in with his. A bit of a pain in the neck for him, especially if he uses iCloud Photo Library. And there are other things, such as he should probably delete contacts, calendars, etc., when he logs out of his account so that they then don’t sync with your Mom’s account.

It’s too bad Apple has no other way of making a device a trusted device other than having once been logged in to sync something on your Apple ID.


That was a great explanation eccparis, thank you for sharing that here, with illustration.
Please explain though what you mean by “map”, can’t place that abbreviation.

Aside from that question, I understand everything you explained, but could you clarify this:

Is your iPad a trusted device for several Apple IDs at the same time? Or is it just for your dad, so you can help him? @ddmiller commented that if you wanted to use your device as a trusted device for more than one Apple ID, you you would have to switch between them, logging out and in, which is also what I would think. That would be too cumbersome I’m afraid.

Yes Doug, I can see that working, but I think having to switch between two Apple IDs like that, loggin out and in, would be too cumbersome. Shame!

You just need to do it one time to make it a trusted device for that Apple ID. It doesn’t need to be actively logged in to your Mom’s account - just once.

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There is no need to log the iPhone out of the primary Apple ID account. My experience is that a device can be logged into additional iCloud accounts, and become a trusted device for those accounts. My iPhone is trusted for 3 different Apple ID’s.

Sign into the additional Apple ID’s, i.e., Mom’s account, in the Mail settings. You can then enable Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and/or Reminders. Once trusted, you can turn them all off if desired.


That’s it exactly! My 11-inch iPad Pro is a trusted device not only for my own Apple ID, but also those of my mom and my dad. All I did was signing into their (iCloud) mail accounts and voilà !

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A picture says a thousand words:

But sorry, perhaps I should have said, “an actual map showing the approximate location where the Apple ID is being accessed”!

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Yep. Please see @bhupesh’s reply above, and then mine to his.

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Right, if it’s an iCloud account. If the Apple ID uses a non-iCloud (or or address, you need to log in to the Apple ID in settings / Apple ID (the top setting), and that can only be logged in to one Apple ID at a time. (Which is what I thought I said above.)

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