Follow
Share

Mom lives in a assisted living home which she dearly loves. The problem is, when they don't have any activities that she is interested in, she spends the day on the phone calling me. It had stopped for a good while but now she has started calling me every 5-10 minutes to tell me what time it is. Yesterday she started calling at 9 am. and didn't stop till she went to bed at 9 pm. They are installing a new elevator and that has a lot of the activities she usually goes to on hold for the next several weeks. If I don't answer, she will call my cell and if I don't answer that call, she begins calling several of my elderly neighbors wanting them to come up to my house and tell me to answer the phone. This was a problem before and the activities she was involved in took care of it but now they are on hold for the next several weeks and I cant get anything done for answering the phone. Any ideas how to get her to stop this while her activities are on hold?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
my mum lives alone 4 minutes drive from me. She calls me every 20 mins some days. even when I have been around and taken her out or my daughter has been around She has Alzheimers and has someone going in at tea time to make her ,her tea but she just wants me?
She will not join any social groups, she dislikes the one call a day from carers I'm at my wits ends!
Have tried ignoring most calls but still speaking to her three /four times a day and see her most days
Any advice
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My father also incessantly calls me when I am at work and on the weekends with the same message every time. I now put my cell phone on silent and that does help, but when I see how many times he has called, it makes my heart sink. I know that he is fine in the AL, but it is still painful. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Def change your number, what you are telling is completely ridiculous to put up with. .
As I tell my mother, you can play all the games you want, but I'm not playing with you. The only way to not get in the game is for her to have no way to contact you.
Rest assured if there were a real emergency, the AL would get a hold of you, they don't want to make any decisions that might crop up in an emergency.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I could not get my 69 yo sister to stop answering the phone. She lived 2 hocks from Mother and mother would call constantly, even if my sister told her she was bathing. Mother would call her several times, when she was out at supper. Then, my sister would call me and complain.

I would say "Do not answer the phone." "Leave the phone in the car." Etc.

My sister was totally disabled from RA and I am sure that the stress killed her. She was buried one day before her 70th birthday. As for mother, she will be 96 and is living happily ever after in the NH. She does not call me and she cannot hear, any more.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you sandwich42plus, xx
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Rustydee, you are going to have to get creative to claim your sanity back.
Don't answer the phone just because it's ringing. You can control this much.
You have to put boundaries in place and honor them yourself.....or you will be in the home next door to mom!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Let me know if you find the answer, Mine does the same, she calls me up to 19 times a day to tell me she's ill, she's been doing it for 5 years now! I had her stay a week last week she was fine ( well as well as she can be at 95 and now she's home she's started again, it's doing my head in ..if I answer she's moaning and screaming she's ill,.. It's getting me down, and I jump whenever the phone rings now .. She has at least one caller a day. And spends hours a day on the phone to others, .. :(
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This may not work for everyone but when my mom started doing this I finally started telling her, after the third or fourth call, that she had used up all her calls for that day. She would still call back a couple of times, and I would just remind her, Mom, I'm sorry, but you have already used up all your calls and hang up. This actually worked. On a side issue, I would be very concerned about the elevator situation at the assisted living facility; do they have patients on upper floors that could be trapped in the event of fire without this elevator? If so, they need to be reported. This cannot go on.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Voice mail,even on cell phones, can have amazing features, like filtering all her calls straight to voicemail, or having a special ringtone for her number (even "No ring"!). So I bet somewhere there is a phone that could send her calls to a special voicemail recording from you as a reply. What does she want you to say when she tells you what time it is? You could record "Hello [pause] Hi, Mom [pause] Thanks, but I'm busy right now, I'll call back. Love you!"

If necessary, you could get a whole separate voicemail to do that.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother calls up to 40 times/day most days of the week, the calls were blocked and went straight to vm, as it is disruptive to deal with that at the office. As the only person who has been there for her in the family, especially in these later years when she really needed help, she has turned on me and leaves excoriating messages. Visits (now far fewer) with her start out ok, but then she starts to show aggression and I have to calmly leave. She needs help paying bills (I have helped w/everything while working full time until she became so angry 3 months ago), she is 90 and very independent and will not move to assisted living. Her home is probably the best place for her to be, but she is suspicious of all caregivers/outsiders, the neighbors are not close, and starts a fight/insults me each time I see her. Friends really don't like to go there with me. This week I changed phone carriers to save $ and have a new number, but I will inform her of it, since there is no one else. A conservatorship is not affordable for me and she would fight it tooth and nail. Any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she's calling you obsessively to tell you what time it is and doesn't even remember she's doing now, she can't possibly be calling you and the neighbors, punching in phone numbers from memory.

Oops, whatever would she do if she "lost" her phone book? (Get it?)

If she does recall some for memory in the beginning, have the neighbors block her number and you should block her number on your landline. Let it go to voicemail if she calls your cell phone. When you choose to call her back, don't acknowledge any messages, just say you didn't get any and you'll have to check into it, maybe there's something wrong with your phone, etc.

Her dementia has progressed to a pretty high level; you're going to need to be thinking outside of the box on a regular basis now.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We take away the car keys when it's not safe to drive. We take away the kitchen knives when it's not safe anymore. A phone is another tool useful to people who understand the boundaries and how to use it. When the understanding isn't there, the phone isn't a good idea anymore. If you can't control the phone on her end, you can control your end.

I have parental controls on my kids' phones through AT&T. I can block all activity between certain hours. I can block specific numbers. My phone has a "do not disturb" setting separate from AT&T. If your phone is a cell phone, look into the controls your service provider offers, and think outside the box. I wouldn't know about the AT&T ones if I didn't have kids because they're called SmartLimits or Parental Controls. When the time comes, I can setup blocks on *my* phone to limit access during certain hours as needed.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I never knew that a private phone line is required in an AL facility. I regret giving my Mom the courtesy of a private phone in her NH room. I have had the same experience with her this past month (a new development) 28 calls in 45 minutes to my cell. All billed for 1 min each - but she must have hung up each time she got the voicemail box. I visited her last night, and while she was in the bathroom, I took the phone away completely, and left. I have not heard from her today - she could have called me from the Nurses's station - or she doesn't realize it's gone yet. She has been in the habit of hiding the phone in her night table drawer.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

When I went away to college in the late 80s, my mother would call my dorm room incessantly until I talked to her in person. (I'm an only child.) Drove me and my roommates crazy, but she didn't care. If she didn't talk to me every single day at least twice she would go into an anxiety attack. She became infamous for it. She had never been to college herself and had no concept of classes, labs, library time, social time, or anything else that can keep a student out of their room, so of course I must be in constant peril. Thank heavens that was before we all had cell phones! It was miserable, so I really feel for you. When I moved away to get married and started my family, she insisted on barging in by phone when I was in active labor in the hospital. She got mad because I wouldn't talk to her between contractions. She called and called and called until I had the phone cut off in that room and had my husband leave strict orders at the unit's desk that we really did mean NO PHONE CALLS.

I'm probably going to be in your shoes in the upcoming year or two. Maybe sooner. After enough therapy about my own mom, I took away that you have to give yourself permission to enforce your own boundaries. It's perfectly acceptable to have these boundaries and to put controls in place that enforce them. E.g., my mom STILL calls me all the time, but now she can't remember she already did. I answer when I can. If I can't - I don't. This is not me being a naughty child. This is me being a responsible adult who has many competing demands for my time including my obligations to my employer, my family, and myself.

I think you need to change your phone number. Seriously. I mean it. I would/will when necessary. Not to hide from her, but to preserve your grown up sanity which does have a very high value. You also need to have an arrangement with those neighbors she calls if she can't get you. They might need to have her phone number blocked. It sounds mean, but it isn't. This is unacceptable behavior, she isn't going to quit it because she can't, so other solutions need to come up. Like somebody else said, see if the facility can block all outbound calls except to the emergency line.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

maybe try recording a week or two or three of young and restless, if she has a player of some sort. Then she can watch all day long. With the dementia, she won't remember she saw that episode before....
LOL.....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Will ask tomorrow while I am over there. didnt think about that but they may have something they can do on their end until they get the activities back up again. She misses the balloon volley ball the most . lol
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have you checked with the AL facility to see if they have a way to handle the problem? If she has a phone in her apartment, I wonder if they have a way to stop her from making anything but emergency calls to the office. Frequent phone calls are often a problem with dementia, so there may be something in place at the facility to keep it from happening.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have no clue why she started calling to tell me the time. It just started. I have mentioned that she go with the group places that they are going more now since the activities are on hold but she wont agree to that. she dont want to miss the young and restless. lol.. I can not disconnect the phone as it is a requirement that she has a phone in her apartment at the assisted living home. I call her 6 times a day and she has it written down the times I will be calling her. If I am a few minutes late on calling, shes calling me. Setting boundaries will not work because she does not remember the boundaries. She has a list of times that I call and she still calls. Since the activities are on hold, She spends most of her day calling me. The only times I am not answering the phone is at the times she is gone to meals and when the young and restless is on. I have counted as many as 48 calls in a 8 hr period. I wish they would hurry up with the new elevator so the activites would start back up.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

She probably does not remember the calls. Answer the phone once a day, and tell her you are not going to be available when at work. If she calls you at work, dump it to voicemail. Take one call a day, at home and ignore the rest. If she is pestering the neighbors, tell her you will disconnect the phone, and do just that if she persists. You need to set boundaries, and stick to them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Would it be possible to set 3-4 times for you to call your mom a day and make her big signs with those times? I see she has Alzheimers/dementia, so I'm not sure how far along she is in the continuum. Could you get someone to come in for the couple of weeks that the activities are off to keep her occupied? Or send her to daycare somewhere until the new elevator is installed? Why is she calling you to tell you the time? Any logical reason for that?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I do have a wireless headset that I use but when I am either in the shower or running the vaccum, I cant hear the phone ring and thats when she starts calling the neighbors. I am off work this week but next week when I am back at work, if she calls my cell every 5-10 min's, I will be in trouble at work for her calling so much. I sat down to eat supper and she called me 4 times in 15 minutes to tell me what time it is.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Could you get a wireless head set so you can get on with chores while you talk to her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.