Over the past many years, my mother has been getting worse, and worse.  Mom has a type of dementia which begins with making her forget things, and make poor choices, and progresses (regresses?) over the years, to the point that she does not know any of us kids. Her only knowledge of my father (her caregiver, and the man to whom she has been married for over a half a century) is: "the person who is always here." She isn't even able to speak any more. I saw bits and pieces of my grandmother going through this, and have to tell you, it is a horribly sad process.

While, I cannot help to slow, or stop, the progress of this disease, I would like to design a communications device to summon help.  My father thinks that he can get Mom to push a button, which shows a picture of him, to contact him.  I'm envisioning a device with one (or possibly a couple) large button, with Dad's picture on it, which when pressed would summon him. This would, of course, require some kind of communications connectivity, and could be telephonic, or messaging-oriented.

The Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board looks like it may be just the ticket to help Mom get hold of Dad when she needs him (or just needs to be comforted.) With its WiFi connectivity, it automatically has access to email, and other messing-based communications, and with the addition of some kind of phone module (maybe the Adafruit FONA shield) it could make telephone calls or send SMS text.

To begin testing out the concepts, I can use an ESP-01, and an Arduino Nano, (which I already own) to begin my experimenting, until I get hold of the MKR1000. Using the Arduino IDE, I should be able to get the fundamentals going, and then easily upgrade to the MKR1000.