Follow
Share

My 78 yo mom was diagnosed with dementia recently. She calls me constantly on my cell phone and I can't be answering it as I work during the day and don't want to get fired for taking too many personal calls. I feel like a bad daughter for not picking up, but really I have done a lot already and every time I do pick up, it's the same thing over and over. Is it bad and normal that I am so fed up already with it?

You are not a bad daughter, but a human being. Protecting your job is necessary, not some kind of self-indulgence. Since there is a caregiver, you can just ignore her calls.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to rovana
Report

Oh, I see. That's tough. I might try to get a caretaker who is really trained to work with dementia patients. There are certain things you can do that will increase the chance that they will co-operate. Untrained people often think that begging, pleading, suggesting, etc. will work, but, normally it doesn't. There are techniques found on You Tube by Teepa Snow about working with people who have dementia. You may need someone to really be more proactive in their supervision so that she's safe and not making inappropriate calls/

Since the caregiver can call you if there is an urgent matter, i'd have no trouble letting the calls go to voice mail. If you answered each one, she would have forgotten them all at the end of the day. So, I'd be pragmatic about it.

I would make it a priority to get her to take the medication. I'd focus on getting her to take it, as her anxiety and delusions seem to be causing her extreme emotional distress. Those fears are very real to her. I wouldn't ignore it and discuss it with her doctor. Sometimes meds need adjusting. I might also try to get more help with her care.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report
Mugwump67 Sep 5, 2018
Thank you for the advice and input. Yes, I figure if there really is an emergency, her caregiver will let me know. She is pretty good about communicating to me daily and also letting me know any issues that come up. She really is a gem and should be cloned!
(0)
Report
No, she is not alone. She has a caregiver there at her house. I just end up not answering since most of the time the conversation, if any, is circular. She just keeps repeating the same thing "Someone is going to take me away, someone is going to hurt you and your brother....someone is going to do something to your car" etc. etc.
Over and over.....
She has been prescribed two medications by her doctor (Zyprexa and Depakene) but she is very bad about taking the full amounts even when we can get her to take them or caregiver tries to get her to take them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Mugwump67
Report

Is there someone there with your mother or is she alone? I ask because, to me, it makes a big difference. If a person who has dementia is alone, their calls really do need to be taken, because, they could be in need of help. There are risks for people who have dementia being left alone, such as fires, falls, injuries, hallucinations, etc. So, they need to have access to the phone. And, if she is alone and can't reach a family member, she might call 911 and if they show up and see she has dementia and is alone, there might be an investigation. I'd consider that. Also, I discovered that with my LO, as she was experiencing the dementia progress, it was scary to her. That's one reason that she kept calling. Her brain was making her feel odd and she needed my comfort.

And, short of supervision and changing your number, there is no way to convince them to stop calling, because, they keep forgetting that they called or that they promised to not call so much. So, really, having her supervised, by someone who can monitor the calls and not allow repeated calls is the only way that I know of.

I might also discuss it with her doctor. She might be overly anxious. I'd discuss what type of supervision she might need, in light of what you're seeing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report
Mugwump67 Sep 5, 2018
Thank you for the input. No, she is not alone. She has a caregiver there.
(0)
Report
Does Mom live alone? If so, should she be? Does she call with “emergencies” or just to chat? Do you think she’s bored? Scared? Lonely? Chances are she doesn’t remember she called and calls again. Unless she is still cognizant, trying to reason with her and telling her not to call won’t work. Does she call everyone or just you?

The simple answer is just don’t answer. Put your phone on vibrate. You can’t lose your job, after all. Or if you feel like you have to answer, go to your supervisors and explain the situation. But if it’s taking you away from your job, don’t expect them to understand. If you answer, say “I can’t talk now, Mom” and hang up. Make sure, if she does live alone, she is capable of calling 911 or investigate an emergency alert device.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report
Mugwump67 Sep 5, 2018
She has a caregiver at home with her. I just ended up not answering the phone. She is on two meds her doctor just prescribed her, Depakene and Zyprexa but very bad about taking the full amounts even when we and caregiver try to get her to take them.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter