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A family member in LTC calls on the phone almost daily 4 to 6 times asking the same question that they just called and asked 5 minutes ago. The simple answer is restrict phone usage but apparently that is not an option as the patients bill of rights allows free access to the phone with no restrictions. We have gotten to the point of not answering the phone after the first 2 or 3 calls but then how do you deal with the guilt of not responding to your loved ones call.

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When my mom was put in a long term care unit after being in a nice rehab unit (after a stroke) she went ballistic. She was SO miserable, had a nasty roommate, and it was just such a depressing scene. She had a cell and called me, seriously, like 30 times a day, begging me to get her out of there. I was at work, so I would take a few calls and then set my phone to block calls from her.

Now she is home (thank god) with care and much less miserable, but her short-term memory is not great, so she sometimes gets into grooves where she forgets what I just told her and calls again and again. I do the same thing - block the calls until later.

I know it's hard, but you have to set boundaries so you can cope with your own life.
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Not to be dismissive about it, but four to six times a day.... is that so hard to deal with? Would the number of calls increase if you answered every time, do you think?

Or, why not let them all go to voicemail, but then make a point of ringing your relative at a fixed time daily and controlling the conversation yourself that way? If you put a routine in place you'll know you're not neglecting the person but you won't feel you have to pick up every call.
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jajocaregiver08, where is this telephone located in long-term-care, is it in the patient's room?

I have noticed that some Assisted Living/Memory Care facilities have a hall telephone that a patient can used but the patient needs to go to the phone.

Where my Dad lived in Memory Care, the patient needed to dial "9" prior to dialing a person's phone number.   Usually that dialing 9 in itself is forgotten by the patient, so the calls don't go through.
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Do they have a cell or are they using a landline? How do they know the phone number? Have you changed your number so that the one they are calling is a recorded message telling them hello, I love you. I'll call you later?

I never experienced any guilt over anything like that. I was very responsive to my LO's needs and I didn't feel that I needed to accept multiple phone calls throughout the day over trivial matters, that my LO forgot immediately upon hanging up. The cognitive damage they have  requires us to manage their care in a reasonable way, which seems appropriate to me.  Many family members have jobs and cannot repeatedly take phone calls for non-emergency matters. If your loved one was thinking clearly, she would agree and ask you to not feel guilty or disrupt your job and mental health, when there is no need.
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