I think my mom (84) has forgotten how to use the telephone. Advice?

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I thinks she's making excuses for not using one. She used to call me just about all the time, whenever I was at work or out of the house for a while. I haven't received calls from her for months. I thought that she just decided to stop calling me because she didn't want to bother me. I asked my relatives if they've had any calls from her lately, and some haven't heard from her in a long time, either. Yesterday, just to test this, I told her I wasn't sure my cell phone was working properly, and I asked her to call my number to see if it rings. I keep my number written in large text/numbers right near the phone. I was shocked to have to tell her where the phone was first! After that was done, I asked her to start dialing. She hit the first number right away, but then she lost her attention span or something, and even though I ended up telling her what numbers to dial, it had taken too long. The operator said, "if you'd like to make a call......." She hung up and said there's something wrong with my phone. I forgot to mention that she has dementia. I'm going to have her checked for a UTI tomorrow, but if it comes back negative and she still has this problem, that scares me to death. She also has a Lifeline button, but she doesn't want to wear it, and sometimes I wonder if she knows what its for, too. As a matter of fact, I asked her if she wanted to put her hearing aids on today, and she looked at them and asked me what they were. When I told her, she said, " I'll save them and use them for when I feel sick." Well, now I feel sick. She usually stays home at night when I work, and then I spend my days and evenings with her. I can still call her and she usually answers, but.......*sigh.*



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I am glad she is living with you. You hopefully realize she is NOT safe alone at any time. You need a sitter when you go out. PLEASE.
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Set up speed dialing for her, make a list of the people and associated numbers, and attach it to the handset of her phone, with large print instructions. But keep it simple as possible - no choices to make; just follow the instructions.

Help her with it whenever you go there; help her call friends, e.g., and keep a copy of the speed dial list and instructions with you so you can walk her through it. If she wants to call someone and doesn't remember how, you can conference her in.

Another alternative is just call her a few times a day to make sure she's all right.

I think this is one of the changes you'll have to get used to, and I'm sure it won't be the only change in cognitive functioning.

I would be equally concerned though that she isn't wearing her life alert pendant or button. Could you put it in her pocket or attach it to a belt before you leave for work?
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