I want to configure an iPad for use by an elderly family member with dementia who is isolated in a retirement home. I am posting here hoping to solicit ideas and suggestions from the ever-innovative TidBITS brain trust.
The primary use case for the iPad is to accept incoming Facetime calls, so family members can keep in touch with her. I’ve already found that iOS can be configured to auto-answer incoming calls, which is ideal since this user can no longer manage the complexity of the iOS UI. (the Auto-Answer option is hidden away in Settings/Accessibility/Call Audio Routing).
Since the iPad will be sitting on a table always plugged in, it seems logical to also use it as a photoframe, endlessly playing a slideshow of family photos.
My wish list for features/functionality:
- simple, basic, zero-to-minimal user interaction required.
- slideshow auto-starts, and auto-continues after a Facetime call completes (typically, calls will be terminated by the caller). Ideally, starts up when the iPad is turned on.
- slideshow displays photos from a shared (iCloud) Photos album. New photos can then be put in the shared album by other family members, and get synced from iCloud to the iPad.
- a timer feature that will dim the display (or turn it off entirely) between specified times. IE, it goes dark overnight so as not to impact sleeping.
- display of day, date, time in the corner of the slideshow would be nice to have.
- no visibility of other iOS apps or functionality. Thus, no opportunity for the user to inadvertently mess things up or get lost in the iOS UI. I believe this can be done with Accessibility/Guided Access.
Another challenge is that I’ll need to pre-configure the iPad and then drop-ship it to the retirement home. It’s in a different city, and in any event visitors are prohibited from entry due to covid-19. So the set-up needs to be plug-and-play.
I started browsing the App Store for photoframe apps, and found there are lots. This can’t be a unique application. Perhaps a TidBITS member has already been down this path and found a recipe? I’ll be grateful for any suggestions.