ALZ and phone calls. Is it just too hard for her to carry on a conversation with me?

Follow
Share

My 78 year old Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this past November. She is now living in an ALF.

My Mom and I used to talk for hours on the phone. I have called her everyday for years. Lately she barely stays in the phone with me for 5 minutes. Always coming up with an excuse to hang up. Comically, the last 4 days she has used either going to the bathroom or being on the toilet as an excuse to hang up. LOL
I must trigger her bladder!

Is this the Alzheimer’s? Is it just too hard for her to carry on a conversation with me?

6

Answers

Show:
It can be hard enough to carry on a real conversation face to face with someone who has dementia let alone on the phone. Her world has gotten smaller and much of it is a jumble of confused events and memories, anything you might want to chat about beyond the basics is going to be overload for her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie
Report

I think it could be the mundane activities going on around her that are distracting her attention. I think it would be hard to hear over the phone as well, with people talking, moving about.
Your so lucky to have those phone calls at all.
I only got 1 surprise phone call from my dad. A staff member dialed the phone. He didn't have much to say. He barely talked at all.
So your blessed she can talk for a few mins.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Jasmina
Report

My Mom uses a landline. She missed the technology wave completely!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SerenityNow2018
Report

LoLo, is your Mom is using a landline telephone or cellphone.... and are you using a cellphone? There comes a time when us old timers have a difficult time hearing someone calling on a cellphone, I know I do.... especially if the person doesn't always keep the mouth piece section of the cellphone in place the whole time... or if they are walking around while on the phone, the call would fade out. Landline to landline I never had a problem :))

Plus if one is elderly, their world is sooo much smaller. Thus, they don't have a lot to talk about. With my Dad [it was landline to landline so the calls were very clear] and many times he would need to say good-bye as he had to make a mad dash to the bathroom, just comes with the territory of aging.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

I am having a similar problem with my 87 year old Mother. In April 2017, she attended the wedding of her grandson and was able to have wonderful conversations with the bride's family and with our family members.

In May 2017, Mom asked to go the ER Dept and 48 hours later she couldn't perform any of her ADLS. From May to August 2017, Mom called me almost everyday via her cellphone.

In August 2017, Mom had a major episode of depression with delusions and thought that my brother and I were stealing the farms from her (We had to petition to regain POA but that is a different story.) From August through December 2017, Mom only called me after someone (a staff member) talked to Mom about her finances.

Starting January 2018, Mom rarely calls me or my brother and when we call her, she says that she can't hear us. OR after 10 minutes of conversation, Mom puts the phone down on the table or the bed and ??wheels herself away from the phone??

I think the change in Mom's phone behavior is caused by her depression/delusions and dementia and by the medications that Mom needs to take to keep her depression & delusions under control.

People with Alzheimer's and dementia have trouble comprehending something that they can't see. The object or person has to be in front of them for them to understand. So it is possible that since your Mom can't see you while she is talking with you, she does not understand what is going on. She doesn't understand that you are talking to her. Also, she doesn't have the ability to understand that she needs to say, "Who is this?" so she says something that she can understand "I'm going to the bathroom". I am glad that you can laugh about the situation.

Oh, by the way, I need to go to the bathroom:)
{I really do-my diuretic is working again!!} LOL
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to DeeAnna
Report

Lolo, usually we have posts from children who say their parents are calling 100 times a day, all day and all night!

I wouldn’t take this personally. Alzheimer’s patients can be obsessive or have no attention span whatsoever. The disease calls the shots. Just tell her it’s okay and that you’ll talk to her later. Then don’t call again until the next day.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

Related
Questions