Mom calls every family member listed in her cell phone ranting and angry, making false accusations about me and my sister. What do we do? - AgingCare.com

Mom calls every family member listed in her cell phone ranting and angry, making false accusations about me and my sister. What do we do?

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Mom just moved into AL after 2 hospital stays. She has advanced COPD and dementia, She has a recurring fear that my sister and I have placed her in a mental institute and have taken away all of her money. She is calling me and other family members whose phone numbers are stored in her phone 3-4 times daily, sometimes pleasant but mostly angry and yelling. Then hangs up if told it isn't true. Today she told me how much she liked her apartment , new friends and activities. Said she was okay with visiting her home for holidays and weekends. Great. Two hours later I am the evil and she hates me. My sister, nieces and husband cringe when she calls. I visit every Wednesday and my sister visits every Sunday. I can usually cajole her into a good mood or take her out to eat which she loves. This disturbing behavior can happen at any time out of nowhere. Redirecting usually doesn't help. One time I told her I want going to talk about it and walked out of room, came back in a few minutes, acted like nothing happened. Worked that time but not the next So sad that mom thinks I am cheating her and mean to her. Help!

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Just like dementia patients will reach a point where their living situation must transition from IL to AL to memory care or NH, it can just as easily become inappropriate for them to have a telephone, weather landline or cell. As dementia progresses, it never follows any logical sequence. It is a per patient progression.

In my dads case for example, with Alzheimer's, he could still read the newspaper even though he could no longer sign his name.

My aunt, with alcohol dementia, couldn't remember how to do anything, pay a bill, fix food, IF she ate, yet she could enjoy going out to eat we're going to a movie (couldn't remember afterward).

My mom with drug-induced dementia, who had been very good at electronics, couldn't any longer operate a phone, the microwave or her VCR.

Still others I have known of (and have read about on this forum) have then incontinent and didn't want to bathe, yet were still able to dial the phone, call for 911 emergencies (when there weren't any) and complain to social services about being abused (although nothing untoward was happening).

This case regarding your mom sounds like it is time do either de-program the numbers from the phone or remove the phone altogether.
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Unless your parent has always been narcissistic or evil from any cause, this behavior is from the damage the dementia is doing to her brain. It is not your "real parent" doing these things. That person would probably be appalled at the heartbreak and chaos he or she is causing.

It is enough stress just trying to deal with the behavior. Please do not also worry about your loved one dying hating you -- the real person does not hate you, it is the dementia.
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Drop water on the phone. I never understood, why my cousin took her Mother's phone book away from her. I understand, now. People have to live through it, to understand it.

Fortunately, my mother's cell phone use it spotty. I send her e-mails at the nursing home. She can't reply, but she gets my news and pictures. I send lots of gifts. It doesn't have to be much. But, I do not want her calling several times a day.

As far as operating a cell phone, it is keeping a list of the numbers that were called and see can just hit the recent numbers. It isn't difficult.
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I write one page letters with her DOB, medications, and my name signed at the bottom for the official records, and give to the nurse on our way in to the exam room and request that doc read it first. This has been an effective way of communicating respectfully so that doc knows what I'm dealing with and he can work around her defenses.
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A couple of months after we moved mthr into Memory Care, she found the residents' phone in their "library". She was able to remember the number for the people who we had battled for 3 mos for the POA, told the husband that I had dropped her off at the Capitol in Raleigh, she had been standing beside the interstate, but that these people had allowed her to come inside and use their phone. The man dropped what he was doing, packed the car for the trip, and waited for his wife to come home from the store so they could both go on this 3 hour trip from their home to find her.

Before they walked out the door, the wife called me to let me know what an evil person I was to do this to my mth! When she finally took a breath, I told her mthr was safely locked up in a memory care home and several states removed from Raleigh NC! I even gave her the number of the home so she could call herself.

Because my narcissistic mthr has always told terrific stories with me as the bad guy, this tale was believable to these people (why they believed any of the stories I have no idea). They called the home and she was there.

I strongly advise allowing your mother's phone to be lost, broken, or dropped in the toilet! Anything to get it not to work. Maybe even take out the battery.
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Glynna that last one is easy - capture one or two of her finest rants on your cell phone and play them to the doctors. Might come as a bit of a surprise to her, too, of course..!
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I think I may hide the phone charger? Tell her I need to send the phone off to be repaired. I have spoken to the doctors but they won't give her anything stronger than buspiron. It is hard to tell them what is really going on at the appointments when she is sitting there.
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your mother must be smarter than i am. i have the simplest cell phone possible and still have to relearn how to use it with every call or text. oh well. my brain is scattered, the last year with moms dementia left me about fried.
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Our family is going through the same thing and it's just heartbreaking. Just moved Mom with NPH and dementia 10 days ago from general AL where she was falling frequently to a more homey residential care home after deciding the facility's locked down Memory Care Unit was not safe and felt she would do better in a smaller setting. Found a beautiful home one street away from my brother in an upscale neighborhood. She has been fighting with the house for a week now, refusing to eat at the table, and begging to go home. It's just heartbreaking and so very difficult. We were so grateful to find some a beautiful setting and I'm so afraid she is making all the caretakers and residents miserable with her constant tantrums despite sedatives and that they will ask her to move. I wish I had the answers, but just wanted to say you're not alone right now. I feel like she will eventually leave this world hating us all and believing that we abandoned her. I wish your family peace soon and know that you're not alone in this journey.
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Suspend the phone service and get her some anti-anxiety meds from the MD. She can have the phone back after she feels better. It can take several weeks for the patient to settle in and acclimate to a new home.
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