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I have explained to her how dangerous it is for her to talk to people she doesn't know. I have given her printouts of stories where elderly people have been taken advantage of. But, she continues to do it. Her memory has gotten really bad, so I know she forgets. And, I also know she misses her friends and is hoping the call is from someone she knows. How do I protect her?

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If it gets too bad, just turn the darn thing off for a few hours. or the day. Especially around election time....
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Gaylynn, when my mom, who has Vascular Dementia, moved to a skilled nursing facility, she missed having a phone more than anything else and was constantly asking for one. She, too, would answer any and all calls and was scammed out of a lot of money while she was independent. Even though she no longer had access to her finances, she remembered all her personal information and would freely give it out. I went as far as buying an "old school" Trimline phone and set up an account but could never bring myself to activate it, knowing it would lead to a world of problems. Then I ran across a company called TeleCalm. Oh. My. Word! I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it's been! Mama has her phone and I have an app on mine so I can set "quiet hours" -- no more middle-of-the-night or early morning calls; she gets a comforting recording from me instead. She can only make OR receive calls from those on her call list. No scammers ever! No calling 800 shopping numbers from commercials! Her friends can call her, she can call them, my sister, and me but she can't call 911 (she's tried, believe me, but doesn't need to because she's being well cared for.) She also can't use the phone book to call out to strangers in the middle of the night (has done this from the facility phone.) The funny thing is, now that she has her phone (fire-engine red, her favorite color!) she doesn't make that many calls. I think just having it there makes her feel connected.
If not very many of your mom's friends are no longer living, there are services that make daily calls to seniors just to check in and chat.
Hope this helps you, dear fellow caregiver.
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This isn't helpful, but my mother talked their ear off telling them all her bodily complaints. They hung up on her. Locking credit is best.
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Karencd Jan 2020
Lol!
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Caller ID is unreliable and cannot be trusted. Scammers can easily spoof numbers so you have no idea if the number on your caller ID is correct.
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I have even received calls from my own number! Stupid robocalls...
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write a list of names and facilities from most important to least. Do get the phone that says loudly who the number belongs to. My neighbor has it. Oh it's grandkids school calling again, late start tomrrow, she didn't bother answering it.
It's my granddaughter,, got to get it... It works for her. I think you have to enter the names for phone to recognize... Not sure. One Man called my mom when I was visiting.. I was so angry. I called him back and said: How Dare you ask a senior citiszen for her Social Security numbe.r Don't you have a mother? How would you feel? It still angers me there are people out there doing that stuff.
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Karencd Jan 2020
I wasn't so lucky. Whenever I want to call the numbers back (and sometimes there is no number), I can't get anyone.
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My mother is of the polite generation that will listen patiently to donation requests from anyone who calls. However, she is also someone who lived in the NYC area most of her life! She always asks people to send her a printed request or invoice. If they bother to do that, we can intercept or she will throw it away herself.

Fortunately she hasn’t lost her skepticism yet! Now if we could just get her to stop calling 911 when she forgets where she is...
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I feel for you...my mother has fallen for phone scams (your computer has bugs and we need to perform "whatever" to fix it..oh by the way it will cost you $150.00 plus) and has fallen for the scam where she wound up buying a bunch of gift cards and wound up costing the bank over $3K and losing her checking account (the bank did not come back to her for the money but they did send a nice letter ending their financial relationship) and I wound up getting her an account that was a sub-account to mine so I can monitor daily what is going on . Recently, something popped up on her computer stating her checking account had been accessed (not true) and I walked in just as she was trying to give them access to the computer. All of this happened in the last 18 months. She is pretty good at hanging up on the calls now but continues to answer her phone on the off chance it is my brother or sister calling. It doesn't get easier.
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My mom would give info out to whomever asked, changed the electric carrier for a $50 gift card. When I changed it back we had no bill for months! I turned off the ringer. Her dementia is too advanced for her to make a call. All the calls are forwarded to my cell phone. We call her sister through Alexa ,it can call anyone in my phones contact list. I live with her and she is never alone.
Maybe a cell phone with those important people in the contacts. Their names would be on the screen when they call. Different ringer sounds can be set for the people on close friends list, the rest of the callers could be set to something that doesn't sound like a phone, like a water drip, etc. Once the memory gets worse, nothing will work...
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I use Ooma (Voice Over IP based phone service) to get around this problem with my husband with dementia. It has a built-in blacklist for scam numbers. Any number that’s not specifically white-listed goes directly to voicemail for me to deal with later. I even do it for numbers we do know (doctors, dentists, etc) because if he answers the phone, they will give him info (despite my repeatedly telling them NOT to talk to him) & then he will promptly forget what they said.
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You know this isn’t fool proof right? Scammers spoof numbers so their calls will always get through. All it takes is spoofing a white listed phone number.
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Hopefully I'm not repeating someone else's advice. We had difficulty with my mom answering calls from solicitors and donating money. ATT has a call screening feature. I was able to program up to 20 allowable numbers. All others are blocked. As her POA I was able to create an online account in order to access all of these things. Also with our children's cell phones there's a similar feature on Verizon Smart Family. Maybe your mom's carrier offers something along the same lines.
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