Any advice for telephone usage for my mom who has dementia?

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Erin, as for the police/911 calls, chances are the dispatcher would recognize the location of the call, know it was Assisted Living, take down the information, and call back to the AL main office to verify.

I also was wondering how many people my Dad would be calling that he didn't need to call. So one day I took his Rolodex and pulled out business cards that Dad didn't need any more, such as the landscaper he used at his house [Dad was now in Assisted Living], etc. Even took home the telephone book. If Dad needed to call someone, I would do the calling if I thought it was necessary from home. Otherwise Dad would try to call, but he would forget to dial "9" first to get an outside line.
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Thanks for all the input. I have no serious conclusion except just do not bother with a phone. Our worries were mom calling police/911 etc. which had been done from landline AL. She does call out with more supervision. We were concerned she was getting aggravated by some calls and felt she was tying up the business phone.
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They do not do well with cell phones or even cordless phones. Their brain defaults to 1950 mode. Give them an old bell system desk phone. When they can no longer operate that, it is time to give up phones.
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Even cordless landlines can be a problem because you have to push a button to answer and to place a call after you punch in the numbers. That is hard enough with arthritic fingers or visual impairment let alone memory problems. And the actual phone numbers are getting longer too (I have some very old pencils salvaged from my grandmother's house from businesses with 3 digit phone numbers lol), which is also a problem unless you have everyone on speed dial.
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Do you mean, what is a good, easy-to-use model for people with dementia? Or do you mean, how can you stop your mother calling obsessively/prompt her to answer the phone when you call her/ make it easier for her to find people's numbers..?

I remember there was one big button phone where you could put people's pictures next to the speed dial buttons instead of their names. I thought that was a great idea.
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Not advice but a story. Years before Mom had dementia, my brother talked Mom into getting an iPhone. Well she could never figure out how to use it. The, one day, I got a call from her from her cell phone. I was surprised that she managed to call me. Then she admitted it. She had walked around the neighborhood, with her iPhone, until she found a neighbor at home and then she asked him to call me.
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Freq Flyer--
I agree wholeheartedly!! Mother has 3 landlines in her small apt so she can always reach one. I can't think of how many times she's lost her cell phone.
I'm only 60 and my phone is WAY too much for me. Mother's is a waste of space. "But it's $10 a month" she wails. And gets zero calls and misses goodness knows what.

We also still have and will ALWAYS have a landline.
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Elders had more than a half a century to imprint in their mind how to use a landline... when it rings, lift the receiver and say "hello"... easy. Cellphones have become too complex.... not easy to answer. I remember my boss asking me to answer his iPhone, I looked at it and had zero clue how to answer it.

Plus the clarity of calls from landline to landline is extremely clear, easier for an elder to hear. None of that Jack In The Box garbled voice from the drive-thru ordering box :P

Even though my Dad was still fairly sharp at being in his 90's, I gave him a portable land-line telephone to try out. Well, most of the time Dad would forget to put the phone back in it's port for recharging, so that phone was dead... or missing in the house. Like, what senior is going to remember to charge up a phone??? Regular landlines phones don't need that.  Thank goodness Dad had regular landlines all around the house.

I have landline phones in just about every room in the house. That way if there is an emergency, when I call 911, my house address automatically pops up on the screen at the 911 center. With cellphones, one would need to pay extra for GPS location service.  Ok, I do have a cellphone, but it is an older flip phone that I carry for emergencies and occasional texting.

So, I would suggest stay with the tried and true.
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I'm waiting for some responses to this too! My mother bought a cell phone that AARP said was "best" for seniors. End result, she can't learn to "swipe" so she can't use it. She also can't call anyone. Also can't answer it.
I told her to have her landline re-activated and got this: "But what if someone calls me and I am not home?" Answering machine, same old one she's had for years that she CAN work. (Mother has mild dementia, but of course, getting worse every month.)
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