My father has dementia and is in AL and won't call for help. Any suggestions?

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I have had dad who is 87 in AL for almost 12 months and he still won't pull the cord for help from the nurses. He calls us all hours of the morning and sometimes it's like 15x a day. He also get insulin and they wrote down the times that he gets it and he goes down there at least 1.5 hours early and when the last one comes he calls us right after he eats dinner and asks when do I get the last one? We got him a digital watch because he was having a hard time reading a regular watch. If we don't answer the mobile phone he will then call the house phone.

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Oh Lordy!

Your poor poppa - it isn't that he won't follow the right instructions for getting help, it's that he can't. The frustration for caregivers before this key point really sinks in is beyond a joke, and please don't think I don't totally sympathise. But even though you have made it easy for him, even though the cord is visible and within reach and everybody tells him every single time what to do, he *cannot* learn this process. Not won't. Can't. It's a new chain of thought, and his brain can't handle it - so he reverts every time to the chain he already knows, and calls you.

The ALF will keep him safe and well cared for, including making sure he gets the right insulin doses. So the only real answer to the remaining problem, that he constantly calls you for help, is to turn off your mobiles and change your landline number.

Sorry.
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In my dad's AL the meds come to the patient. I think it’s time to either conference with the director or the head of nursing and have it placed in his care plan for them to come to him to administer the insulin. With the phone, you need to make tough decisions. If you aren’t going to move him to memory care, then you either need to to not answer the phone and let it go to voicemail more often or take the phone out. Sadly they can’t remember they’re calling you all the time and at all hours. Usually it’s about something the facility can take care of.
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If my Mom was constantly calling me...I would take the phone away.
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My 95 yr old dad doesn't have dementia and he STILL doesn't remember to pull the cord! He's been in the hospital and now skilled nursing for 5 weeks due to passing out in the bathroom and horrible skin tear that wouldn't quit bleeding due to blood thinner. Cord was within reach but came to and called me at 5am. I asked why he didn't pull cord and he said well.... I just forgot. He hasn't needed to use it in 8 years except a few times (which seems to ALWAYS be in the middle of the night!) So he calls me. I agree with the other posts, sounds like your dad needs more help than AL. At my mom's alz/dementia facility they had a phone at the desk that that didn't work. So when patients would come up and say they needed to call their whoever they could "try" and use it. When they couldn't get through staff would say Ohhh, we've been having trouble with it and we have called the phone co. to see about it. That would placate them and they would walk off and come back at some point...... maybe. It's a common problem with dementia patients. YOU are their lifeline and the person they talk to every......s i n g l e......d a y.......1 5 .......t I m e s. As mentioned before either give him a phone that doesn't work or he needs more help where he will have more interaction with people and staff that knows how to redirect him AND has more time to. Their are more aids at memory care facilities than at just AL at least that's how it is at my dad's. It's a hard choice but sounds like one that needs to be made. Good luck and God Bless
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This problem is similar to one we’re having with my mom. We thought she might be too timid to ask for her pain pill but it’s probably that she can’t remember that she had a pill at all so doesn’t know when or if to ask for another one when her pain returns. I’m needing to talk to someone at the AL or mom’s pain management doc.
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Cheerio, is it possible that the AL has the ability to put a phone in his room similar to that in hotels so when he "calls" he gets the nurses station? My dad is in a small AL and refuses to wear or use the emergency button. I know that people get to the stage of being unable to learn, remember or process new things and I am sorry for your dad and you. I have to say God Bless You as obviously you have been good to him and helped him tremendously, that's why he calls you. But check to see about the phone, maybe you could have it rigged to be the emergency call button. I just wouldn't cut his communications off, what if it was a real emergency.
Let us know how it works out.

DianaHollis, I would talk to her pain doctor and get those meds on a schedule, the roller coaster of pain can cause a whole host of unpleasant side effects for dear mom.
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Maybe time to check into a memory care facility. Dad was in one with a very nice private room, but he spent most of his time in the common room (just beautiful). When he was in his room, there were frequent checks, with checks through the night as well.
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I know it's hard to have the phone ringing off the hook at all times of the day...but as pargirl said, you are his lifeline. I just turn off the ringer or let it go to voicemail. My mom either calls back or forgets that she even called to begin with. I sympathize with you and hope things settle down for you.
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I agree that you need not answer all the phone calls. When mother was at her worst, I let them go to voicemail and checked later to see if there were any real issues. He probably doesn't remember that he has made that many calls. Mother used to forget, and what was a pressing issue for her when she called was soon forgotten.
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I want to thank everyone for there advise on my dad. When I go and see him, he is thanking me for coming and taking care of him. He said that he wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't for me. There are some nights that he doesn't call and then I worry is he ok. You get use to him calling at a certain time. You see mom died back in 2009 of a split Aurota and then she had a heart attack. This was really hard on both of us, dad lived in the house by himself since then. He was in the hospital many times for all different things. I worry about him all the time. Thank you again for your understanding I am glad that I can come here a vent when I need to.
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