1. Q&A: Looking after yourself as a carer - Friday 25 January, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of that person will often come before your own, and this can mean that you don't always look after yourself.

    However, it's important for both you and the person you care for. But how do you do that properly?

    Our next expert Q&A will be on looking after yourself as a carer. It will be hosted by Angelo from our Knowledge Services team, who focuses on wellbeing. He'll be answering your questions on Friday 25 January between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Call blocking - update

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Lynmax, Jan 12, 2019 at 2:12 PM.

  1. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    91
    Having read all your previous helpful,suggestions to prevent spam phones calls getting through to Mum, I might finally have a solution that works for us - mum has three corded phones around the house but no broadband which limits choices. The best call blocking box suggested can cause extension phones to make odd noises when the main phone rings which is no good as mum would be freaked out by that.

    My mum had two scam calls today, intercepted by my brother, which I got through the with held number ban by using the prefix 0203 which gives the appearance of being in London but apparently you can buy virtual 0203 numbers and be based anywhere.

    Anyway, I have now found a corded phone, the BT decor 2600, which has call blocking features as well as an answer machine. All calls that are not on a pre set list ( up to 200) are blocked. I think we can then set the answer machine to simply leave a message telling people to phone me instead and not actually be able to leave a message - which should stop mum seeing flashing lights on the handset and them pressing random buttons!

    I was wondering if anyone here actually has one of these handsets and could comment on how they work.
     
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    607
    Female
    That sounds good. I just had a look on Amazon, the details say that when an unrecognised number rings, the resident is asked to whether they want to take the call, and press buttons for yes/no/block etc. Will your mum be able to do that - just asking, because I know mine wouldn't, she would not have understood and would have wanted to just pick up the handset as usual.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    I use a very similar BT phone - mine is cordless - but it uses the same screening system. I use the "block" option for overseas numbers and the "announce" option for all other unknown numbers (the known ones are either saved, allowed or blocked). I find it works extremely well. If OH were on his own I would probably do the same as you and and block everything apart from saved numbers. I like the idea of giving everyone who is not on the saved list a message telling them to phone you.
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    That is using the "announced" option, but Lynmax is thinking of using the other option - the "blocked" option so that nothing apart from numbers on the saved list will get through. All saved numbers go straight through without having to press any other buttons, just like an ordinary phone
     
  5. Takh

    Takh New member

    Saturday
    3
    Hi I’m new on here but thought I’d let you know we had fantastic success with a phone blocking system called true call it can be monitored online from any computer or tablet.But you don’t need We got one for my dad who had loads of spam calls it stopped everyone and there is nothing for him to press you can set all the settings to various levels of call blocking remotely from your tablet etc. You can also see who’s called and who he has rung. We tried loads of phones before we found this system, no need to replace your existing phone it just plugs in to the phone you have.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @Takh and welcome to Talking Point.
    Yes, the BT system uses the True Call blocking system, but in this phone it is a much simpler version than the box. I think Lynmax just wants to block everything on her mums phone other than a few trusted numbers.
     
  7. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    607
    Female
    Ah right, thanks Canary. That sounds ideal, good value too.
     
  8. Takh

    Takh New member

    Saturday
    3
    You can block all numbers except those that you programme in on the truecall unit. It is the only one we found that actually did what it said. We had previously used BT call blocker phones but found they didn’t stop everything.
     
  9. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    91
    With True Call, will it work where there are three phones in different rooms? I have researched it but thought complaints were that the other extensions might make some noises when a call was trying to get through. I can imagine how this would confuse mum if she was in bed and the phone near her began crackling or dinging- would freak her out!

    Also would we need to buy three boxes, one for each handset?
     
  10. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    91
    I have now read the manual again and am now really confused! It might not be as simple as I initially thought. We might need to divert all calls other than those on her contacts list to the answer machine and then have the answer machine option switched off so no messages can be left. Otherwise there might be flashing lights on the handset which mum would try to remove by pressing random buttons!

    Mum still has enough capacity to live alone but cannot cope with new technology or remember instructions. If only she would hang up the phone when unknown people call her. My brother was with hervtodaybwhen two scammers phoned and he said it was awful to see how upset mum got because she could not understand what they were telling her. They all seem to be from companies claiming to be from the TPS and asking for bank details to buy into an enhanced service to block scam calls! They then set up monthly direc debits.
     
  11. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,527
    Scotland
    You could do what I did which was to stick small squares of black insulating tape over the red light, I have had to do this to everything in our house as mum is obsessed with anything that has a small light on it. You can still check on any calls by picking up the handset and looking at a the calls list.
     
  12. Takh

    Takh New member

    Saturday
    3
    Just the one box was needed, dad had 2phones one in his bedroom and one in the living room. We never heard any noises and he didn’t say it made noises. We plugged the truecall unit in the downstairs phone and didn’t have any problems.check out their website truecall.co.uk They are £95 not cheap but the only one we found that blocked all nuisance calls. We set it so that only numbers dad knew were allowed through. You can leave a recorded message for people it blocks that gives another number if they would like to contact a family member. I’m not massively technical but found it easy to set up and monitor.
     
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    Thats strange, I could have sworn that when I looked at the phone manual it said that you had the option to block all numbers apart from ones on the contact list. I have a BT call blocker (not the same modal) and although I choose to use the announce mode I know that I can block different types of calls and could choose to block everything except contact numbers.
    Would it be worth contacting the BT help-line and asking whether this option is indeed available? The true call box is amazing and is wonderful when you are monitoring calls from a distance and can block individual numbers remotely and has all sorts of bells and whistles. It strikes me, though, as a bit of overkill when you just want to block everything apart from certain numbers.
     
  14. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    91
    My jobs for tomorrow is to contact BT to ask if I can indeed choose the options I think I can to solve our problems and also to ask if I need to have three handsets, one for each room.

    I am also going to contact Truecall to check that the model I have looked at will do what I want and also to confirm that there will be no interference with the other phone extensions.

    Then I think we are good to go! Only people on her contact list will be able to speak to mum and she will not need to do anything or even know what is going on!

    Then it is off to buy the best equipment and think of a love lie to tell mum why she needs a new phone handset or is having a strange box installed in her lounge! She will have to be out of the house while they are installed and her contact numbers are input or else she will drive us mad asking what we are doing! I think we will also install the cover boxes we have to hide the fridge and TV sockets which stop her switching them off as both options need to be plugged into a socket.
     
  15. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    507
    Also, if BT is your phone provider (also PlusNet), they now offer 'call protect' which works in a similar way to block calls, but it is applied by BT automatically to the phone line so you don't need to buy any extra phones.
     
  16. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    91
    Unfortunate mum is not a BT or plusnet customer. I have friends who use Call Protect and it seems to require them to make decisions and press different buttons to block or accept calls - not something mum could do.

    I think we are going to buy the True Call Secure call blocker which refers to being recommended for vulnerable people with memory problems and when I read the manual, it does seem to do exactly what we want. It is slightly dearer than their basic model but does not have an answer machine so no lights on top to show saved massages. The manual confirms that we only need to install it on one phone and we plan to block all calls bar those on a safe list. We can leave a message telling people to call my mobile if they need to contact mum and although you can give friends a special code to bypass the system, we are not doing that as it appears to cause a few problems with corded phone extensions.

    It is more expensive than the BT phone but seems to be less complicated to set up and the manual answered all our queries. A bonus is that we can set up the unit at my house, add all the numbers using my internet and computer then take it to mums and quickly plug it in.

    We will need to think up a reason for a little tinkle type ring which the extensions might make while the blocker deals with certain calls but I am already working on that!

    My brother is going to read the instruction manual as well to make sure I have understood it fully then we are good to go!

    Thanks to everyone's advice, I am grateful for being told is a device that seems to do exactly what we want.
     
  17. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    607
    Female
    I've heard good things about Truecall, it's definitely worth the extra cost if it does exactly what you want. Good luck thinking up a story about the 'tinkles'!
     

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