My mom is the middle stage of Alzheimer’s and is still on social media. She looks at her phone all day long. She can no longer read a book (which she used to do daily) because she can’t keep up with the characters.

Facebook is a nightmare. She doesn’t understand how to use it. She sends messages to the wrong people or sends embarrassing articles to everyone. By embarrassing I mean Enquirer/Star magazine level articles. Her comments under posts don’t match the original posts...which really isn’t a big deal....or she’ll group message people (including my church music leader) a personal message to someone else (who isn’t even on the group message) with pics of my kids etc. She was also almost scammed by a man whom she thought was interested in her. She even spoke to him on the phone. :(. I don’t think she ever sent money, but we intercepted as soon as she started talking about it. It was awful and I felt bad for her. She also gets into arguments on FB and makes comments and doesn’t understand that everyone can read her public posts. She gets hurt when we tell her to delete posts. Very hurt.

And then there’s Amazon...she swears her phone is broken... but she has ordered enough candy for the next several Halloween’ 200 rolls of toilet paper to back it up. Not joking. That’s just one day of ordering. There’s much much more.

How do we get her off her phone? It’s all she has. She can’t follow a tv show, but does enjoy the news or maybe a variety show. She has not a single hobby.

She understand her diagnosis and is is aware that something isn’t right. Pretending her phone is lost or broken won’t go over well.

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We had to “misplace” my dad’s phone and address/phone books and car keys and move him into a memory care facility. He kept opening new credit cards and calling people at all hours. He kept insisting on getting a new phone and having all of his address books for his closed business. He has no hobbies, doesn’t like to read, only enjoys disfunctional programs on TV that get him riled up. However, the facility redirects him and provides lots of activities. They provide live music 5-7 times a week, bingo, scenic drives, lunch out once a week, the movie theater once a month and a “bucket list outing” once a month. They offer much much more, Ive only listed his favorite things. He’s made lots of friends and is particularly fond of his dancing partner that he “plans to marry and drive in his fancy car in car show parades”.
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Reply to Qwerty

What if she had some sort of games to play on her laptop? Puzzles on her laptop? That might keep her entertained without bothering other people or embarrassing herself. My mom was a phone operator, so the phone was her pal in her retirement right into Alzheimer's. OMG the things she would do. There was a flood in our state and her basement flooded. She couldn't understand that it wasn't just her house. It was the entire city. She kept calling plumbers even though I had already made plans for the flooded basement to be taken care of. When the plumbers in our city couldn't help her, she called one from another city to come. It got kind of expensive paying these people to come for no reason. Then she called the city and had the water turned off to her house, went to get a glass of water and saw she had no water, so called the police. The police called me at work. That was the end of her being left alone, but she still made strange calls. She started getting numbers mixed up and ended up calling the police a lot. She would call stores and companies to argue over her bills and the doctor to find out if I was telling her the truth. She would call me when I was in the next room. Luckily she never used the internet. Now she's forgotten how to use a phone. It will all pass with time.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter

My Daddy is not understanding the telephone right now. I have had to "unring" the phone so it doesn't ring yet is still connected.
Also, he makes threats and invites strangers over or tries to hire contractors because something is broken.
I just ordered the Grandpad... it is limited to only people the administrator... family member... sets up, no social media, has games, music and pix. We have not received it yet but the reviews are good. Right now the first month is free. It has its own data so no wifi is needed.
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Reply to hgnhgn

Thanks everyone. She lives at home, has never liked to socialize and has no hobbies..well, she used to love reading, but she’s done with that.

We are working on getting her into podcasts and books on tape. I think she actually gave the scammer her phone number. He pretended to be a flirty man. He (or whoever it is) actually had a facebook page and followed tons of women.

We have deleted most friends from fb, however she adds them or still messages people...article after article...

She also doesn’t understand the importance of not texting people in the middle of the night. It’s gotten better with us because we’ve told her, but I think she texts other extended family members at all hours. She is awake ALL night long.
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Reply to Sarahk60
Hummer Mar 26, 2019
If you BLOCK people on Facebook, your account won't be able to see the blocked ones & they won't be able to see that yours exists--unless & until you unblock. That would solve the issue of her re-friending people she used to be connected with.
It is unlikely at mid stage Alz, that she is going to learn new behaviours online. My stepdad was at an early stage of dementia when he died of cancer, it was only when I had to help Mum on their computer that we realized just how 'broken' his brain was. Software that he had used for decades completely befuddled him. I had to clean up a couple hundred files saved to the desktop that were gibberish.

For Amazon, what about deleting her credit card information from her account? Or changing the password? As she thinks her phone is broken, then you can tell her the Amazon account is broken and they are looking into it. Another option is to contact Amazon and tell them she is incompetent and ask them to delete her account.

Be aware that it is possible to make a 'phone call' through the Facebook Messenger App. That maybe how the scammer spoke with her.

Can you go into her Facebook account and 'unlike', 'unfriend' and otherwise limit her contacts?

Would she be interested in listening to Audio books?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Tothill

Yes, you need to stop her from getting on the internet. Actually surprised she can still get on. Maybe you can contact her FB friends and ask them to unfriend her. Do you know her password? Delete her acct.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29

You said pretending her phone is lost or broken won't go over well so it sounds like you can't just take it away. Go to your service provider and have them show you how to turn off her access to the internet - not just by flipping a setting on her phone, but by doing it from your account settings. I learned this the hard way when my pre-teen outfoxed me by finding the settings on his phone and switching them back! 🙄 Maybe you can secretly and briefly turn it on from time to time while she naps to download offline games she might enjoy like different versions of Solitaire, crossword puzzles, Mah jongg, adult coloring, simple versions of Tetris or Jewel, etc., and once they have downloaded, turn it back off again. If she questions the loss of her social media, tell her (quite truthfully!) that bad people have been trying to scam her out of her money and you had to block it for her protection. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to DesertGrl53

While she's away from her phone, like sleeping or going to the bathroom, take it away. Then see what you can do to get her a hobby other than social media. Is she staying at a facility? If not now might be the time to do that since she'll be able to socialize with everyone there, make new friends and try new things with people just like her. Being addicted to your cell phone is just as bad as being addicted to food as it lowers your memory and takes away from your quality of life. No one deserves to live like that.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000

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