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My 90 year old Aunt with advanced dementia is in assisted living and she has a cell phone and is constantly calling her friends at 3:00am and now is basically calling her lawyer and doctor multiple times though out the day insisting on speaking with them. Her doctor recently wrote her a letter (at her request because didn't believe what I told her) The doctor is stating she needs 24 hour care and recommends that she stay where she is at. She has been here about 1 month. We tried having her go home before and it lasted only a month before she was threating her caregivers, throwing things at them and locking them in rooms. What can I do?

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We used to. In the beginning he called a lot simply because he was lonely. Then because he kept forgetting. Called at all hours of the day. Called Everyone. Eventually some family members stopped answering, some even changed their phone numbers and Requested that I not give it to him. He was very confused as to why no one answered the phone. Then someone stole he's phone while he was homeless. So when he came to live with us we just never got him another. He doesn't seem bothered by it. And we keep our phones locked.
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Lassie: You must be a saint to be able to have held it together with calls like from your LO AND at those hours!
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sandi, as others say she clearly belongs in the facility and you've gotten some good responses. She is very lucky to have you, bless you. :)
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I would get calls in the middle of the night, sometimes several. "Hi, so what are you going to be doing this afternoon?" "Good morning! Guess what, my parents are here, sleeping in the basement!" "Hi, wanted to ask you if the sandwich shop down the street is closed, I just went there and it's all dark and locked up!" Then when I called her, after a point she would put the phone down to go do something and leave it there for several hours, off the hook. I won't even get into the story of the scam artist she spoke with several hours a day (lost $400 to him, with much more promised to come as soon as she got to the bank...).
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At mom's memory care they do not have phone lines in the room and those residents who ask to make calls are re-directed - at first this bothered me tremendously - imagine feeling lost and scared and not allowed to call your loved one ?

But alas it is of course understandable as staff would be doing nothing else but making phone calls

Of course when the facility calls me now I always take a deep breath expecting bad news but they generally will start the conversation with this is not an emergency

While she was still at home mom would call me constantly at work and sit by the phone for hours re-writing the same message to herself over and over and then stuff the notes into her pockets and bra

Dementia takes a toll on everyone it touches
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I think you should take the phone away. It is a miracle that your aunt hasn't lost it or flushed it down the toilet! Seriously, do everyone a favor and remove the phone. Your aunt no longer has the ability to control her own behavior.
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Ah, there is no reason for a woman who has dementia to even be in possession of a cell phone! She has no idea when it's night and when it's day! Good grief! What might these people on the receiving end be thinking!
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I had to take my mother's phone away last January. She started out calling me multiple times each day. If I answered and spoke to her, she would call again 10 minutes later, having forgotten our earlier conversation. If I didn't answer, she would call repeatedly, alternately to my cell phone and my land line. She would leave angry messages if I didn't answer. Then she started calling other people, primarily my daughter and my mom's sister. Next, the calls began coming at all hours. Since her phone was on our account, I checked the call log and found she was calling random numbers, even in different area codes.

The first thing we tried was having her phone de-activated. In less than a day she became angry and insisted the staff call me and tell me to fix her phone or bring her a new one. In the meantime we had upgraded our plan and her phone was not compatible, so we gave in and got her a different phone. The calls persisted, with her getting angry if I didn't answer. My favorite was when she left a message demanding that I bring her phone back when she was using her phone to leave the message! So, the phone was removed and we told her that it needed to be fixed. For the next several weeks, she would ask the staff about her phone several times each day. When they reminded her that it was being fixed, she would accept that for a few minutes. Then she would ask again. I was advised to "stay the course" and not return the phone. We kept telling her the same thing, and after a couple of months, she stopped asking. Three months later, I let her speak to her sister using my phone, and she asked where her phone was. I told her I didn't know what had happened to it, and she accepted that answer. She still asks the staff to call me. Sometimes they actually do call and let her talk to me and other times they pretend to call me and leave a message.

I agree that you need to remove her phone, but don't expect it to be easy. I like the idea of an "incoming only" phone, but I don't think it would have worked for my mom. She would have wanted to make outgoing calls and been angry when it wouldn't work. I would ask the staff if she can use a facility phone to make and receive calls when necessary so that there is not always a phone in her room because seeing a phone will remind her to use it.
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awww....who is she going to speak TO, and about what?? Once they reach that stage they are just babbling. Towards the end my mother was unable to answer the phone (a land line, she only spoke on a cell phone a handful of times in her life), the ringing was just a noise somewhere (like the smoke alarm going off was just a noise somewhere, the doorbell ringing was just a noise somewhere). After she went in a nursing home, one or two people asked if they could call her, if she had a phone in her room, and sadly I told them they could call the nurses station and they would bring mom a cell phone to talk to them. But she wouldnt know who she was talking TO and would probably fall asleep and drop the cell phone anyway.
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I would suggest removing the speed dial numbers.
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I like the idea of removing the battery at night. I Googled "Phones for incoming calls only," and there are many. Sounds like she definitely needs 24 hr. supervision.
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Quite the opposite! My mom can't figure out how to call anyone anymore on her cell. She can barely answer the phone and can't figure out how to access her contacts. I am pretty sure the extended family thinks I interfere with her communicating, but they have the "home" (land-line) phone number and never call so...But, if mom were up & calling them all hours of the night (first, I'd laugh about it), then I would try to arrange to remove the battery overnight. At any rate, I would not contemplate taking her out of there. This phone situation at the very least demonstrates a lack of judgment and inability to reason to some degree....
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Leave her there and for God's sake, take away the cell phone! She has no business using a phone. With "advanced" dementia, persons cannot talk, use little words to express themselves and what words that do come out usually do not make sense (using the wrong word). It sounds like your aunt is in mild - moderate stage. Listen to her doctor and remember she is not responsible for her actions. You all have to take charge of the situation and be very firm.
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Hello,

My mother did this also and she thought all of her contacts were calls and kept calling everyone. I took the phone away and said it needed to be fixed. This happened right before she went into an assisted living facility and we got a telephone that has only dial in services. She can not dial out. This worked for awhile and then this type of phone confused her... she kept unplugging it and breaking the cord/attachment so I took it away. The facility has always had a policy that you can call them 24/7 and they will bring a mobile phone to the residents and/or the residents can ask to call you and the staff will dial the mobile phone for them. This has solved the issue. As for calling her friends, I bring my cell phone when I visit and call a friend or relative from time to time on it so my mother can talk to them. As a family we also assigned days to call the facility and request talking to mom. This gives her more contact with her children who do not live nearby and also lets others in the family have a "role" in her care, etc.
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Sounds like what is happening is that your Aunt is forgetting that she is calling people, thus will keep ringing them. As for the time of day, again forgetting it is in the wee hours of morning because it is dark out, and not 7 pm in the evening.

Time to take away the cellphone, as it is too easy for her to automatically dial someone. Make some excuse to take away the phone, like the phone has been recalled and you don't know when a new phone will be available.

If the room allows landlines, put one in, chances are your Aunt probably won't use it very much as that would require her to dial the whole phone number. Where my Dad had lived, he had to dial 9 just to get an outside line. Note that elders like the safety knowing there is a phone in their room.
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