Mom has almost no memory, it seems. She loved her old flip phone, but it needed more and more charging, and began to give her problems, so we got her another almost like it. Almost, I guess, because she can't seem to work it. She calls over and over saying she's not getting her calls, and can't call out (got me though, didn't she?). Wants her old phone back, but it's nearly gone, so I told her that and that she will just get this one back and it's a big deal to switch back and forth because of C19 - no one answers the phone, and the voice says they'll call back, but they don't. I've tried to work with the company on the internet, but too hard with this problem.... Wish she could have a landline, but she insists on one she can carry, now that she knows it exists. I finally told her I could not deal with this anymore; told her to ask one of her many helpers when they come in; pass the buck..... Just venting, I guess; thank you all for being here!

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When my MIL was in rehab shortly before her death, we took her cell phone to her because there wasn't a landline in the room.

She complained that she could get a phone call but couldn't make a call out to anyone. When we asked her what she was doing she said, "Well, I'm dialing 9 first, but I can't get an outside line."

That still makes me chuckle.

Good luck in finding a solution. Seems like a entrepreneur could find this niche market and create some products that would be better than what's available now.

Giggled a little when I saw this. my mom is 82 and dad 92. I have SOOO many challenges with them and their phones. Dad is on phone, constantly losing, not remembering how to answer, blocking me, not being able to hear the ring tone they could hear yesterday, down loading _rap, getting all kinds of alerts for who knows what. I so feel your paing - wishing you luck and hang in there!

Cell phone?? If any kind?? Yeah, that’s not happening with ANYONE over age 90 or anyone UNDER age 90 who has DEMENTIA.

My mother thinks she has a cell phone in her AL room because there are 2 phones in the room and one is more accessible. She too often forgets to keep it charged and then claims it is broken. We go over this and the message seems to get through until the next time it hasn't been charged. She could never deal with a cell phone. She could never wear a watch,run a washing machine etc. in her younger years. She used the phrase absent minded and I recall associating this with her years ago. She is able to have 2 types of phones in her room at AL. Might this be a possibility for this situation? Otherwise carry on as we all and they do.

My mother had her landline disconnected about 5 years ago and told a cell phone would work so much better as she wouldn't have to 'run' to get the phone.

Brother (with whom she lives) cut the phone line to their home as they all had cell phones. Got mother a flip phone, simplest of it's kind. She couldn't use it. So they moved to one that AARP really liked. Couldn't use it, even tho all you had to do to call was touch the screen on the picture of the person you wanted to call---she couldn't make it work.

Part of the problem is that she always has dirty hands and the screen got really icky--so I showed her to clean it daily. That helped, but she didn't like the way the phones 'cut out' when someone else is talking. That does take some getting used to, and she didn't.

I do not know if it's the touch screen--that 'sliding motion' is not intuitive to older people, she touches and drags and it won't work.

She also cannot answer it. All of us kids have tried to work with her. She gets angry and gives up. I've asked YB to PLEASE reconnect the landline and he will NOT.

If she needs to make a phone call she has to wait until one of the kids in the house comes to her apartment. She makes THEM dial. And she routinely loses the phone, it dies and then the hunt is on for it. It's a solid loss for her.

This is a mixed blessing for me, she cannot remember my phone number, so I literally NEVER get called.

She complains incessantly about it---but when faced with a solution "Mom, tell YB you have to have a landline" and be firm about it--she caves. "Oh, it's not a big deal." Yeah, it is. She gets calls from drs and the 2 friends still living and can't answer the phone or talk to them.

I'm not faulting her for not being able to use a cell phone. I probably use mine about 25% of its capability. But I do keep it charged and I do use it all the time.

I also have a landline and ALWAYS will.

We're already on our 3rd landline with my mother who has dementia & lives in Memory Care. Ain't no way on EARTH she can manage ANY cell phone, ever, under any circumstances. She fouls up the remote on the tv to such a degree that it's blasting in a foreign language 1/2 the time. Or, there's 'no voice' is how she likes to put it, because she's pressed yet ANOTHER button on the remote which mutes the sound.

The phone is another story entirely. 90% of the time she touches the volume button and turns it down so she can't hear anyone who's calling in (forget about the fact that she's 80% deaf to begin with). She's screaming 'hello?' while my ear is throbbing, and then she hangs up. I call back and get a busy signal. Call back later and the same rigamarole happens again. If/when I finally do get through, she's screaming CAN YOU HEAR ME? and I'm telling her YOU are the one who can't hear ME, mom, remember? That's just the start of the ugly conversation to ensue.

Then comes the calls about how she can't make outgoing calls because some lady comes on the phone to tell her she has to dial a 1 first. And then she DOES dial a 1 and the same lady tells her NOT to dial a 1 first.

And how the answering machine is SO LOW that she can't hear what the callers are mumbling about. But she won't ask any one of her CNAs at the Memory Care to help her with ANY of these issues, she'll just call me to complain. IF she can remember my number or IF she can get through by dialing a 1 first or by not dialing a 1 first.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg, believe me.

You are trying to accomplish the impossible by getting your mother to learn how to use a cell phone, and, by expecting her to ask one of her many helpers to actually HELP her. It's a lost cause. I know. I've been trying for the past 6 years my mother has been in Assisted Living and now Memory Care. HELP is a four-letter word, don't you know that? :(

Good luck, you'll need it.

Hi I work with many caregivers in my role at work. In full disclosure I work at Theora Care. I am not in sales, but I do work for a company that was founded by caregivers and all of us have been or currently are caregivers. We make a wristwatch that also has a cellular phone built in. It does have to be charged at nite, like a regular cell phone. But, it connects to an app that downloads to your smartphone, so you can call your Mom, her wristwatch automatically answers, and she can talk to you via a speaker on her wristwatch. She doesn't have to do anything to hear you. It's just a potential option for you if you think it might help. She can also call you, of course, by pressing a single button. But for her to hear you calling, she doesn't have to do anything - smile. I wish you all the best. Sincerely, Mel

How does she know she isn't getting calls? I guess I was lucky. Mom lost the ability to use a phone. She never did learn how to use a cell. I did get her a landline that looked similar to the older phones. She seemed more comfortable with it.

Dad: My new cell phone won't have to come over right now!
Me: How did you manage to call me?
Dad: On my cell phone.

Yes I actually had this conversation.

Saying she's 'not getting her calls' and can't call out: She may not be remembering when or who she called. And, she may be dialing the wrong numbers, and maybe doesn't hear the phone ring (low ringer? hearing loss? both?).

You may have to eventually opt for switching to a landline (corded), and tell her it's better and a white lie like .. those cells don't work good any more where she is. Doubtful that can be done right now with virus.

If she has memory problems, she likely can not learn new things. Even simple new things may not be possible. Eventually, using a phone that she is already familiar with may also become impossible. I'd likely let her use the old phone until it breaks, then, say one is on order and she can ask staff to call you if there is an emergency. Trying to learn a new one may only be frustrating to her.

Went through nearly the same thing this week! Mom's Jitterbug phone was circling the drain, it had been through hell, dropped and run over with the walker and it just gave it up this week. She's in Assisted Living but because of Covid I could not run over and be her tech support every time there was an issue with it. Her place used to have a day a week that a tech guy would come as a volunteer to help them all with their phones, tablets, computers etc but of course he has not been able to come either.
All of the CNA's there are so sweet and have told me they would be willing to help her with stuff like that but she didn't want to "bother" them because they work so hard already!
Fortunately I was able to get a new one to her, identical one- so crossing fingers that she'll be fine with it. She does have a land line she had to use when it wasn't working but loved her little phone.
Has never learned to access the voice mail on it so if someone calls she calls me to ask me if it was me that called. Several x's a day! Sigh...Relatives that try to call and don't get her then call me and ask if she's ok.
Had to laugh as I had an issue with my phone last week, I'm 59 my son is 42 he saw me cussing at it took it from me and fixed my issue. The circle of tech support life is now complete! I just have to remember not someday that will be kinda is already!

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