Cold Calls & Uninvited guests

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Scared Cat, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Scared Cat

    Scared Cat Registered User

    Aug 18, 2015
    5
    Hello, I have just joined so very new here. My lovely mum has been diagnosed with early dementia. She is pretty ok, we just notice her repeat herself, and forget things, she is still able to run her home and cooks dinners for her grandchildren daily, she takes the bus to the shops gets off and on at the right stops, manages her money pretty well too. However, she is plagued by cold calls from energy companies to people trying to get hold of her shares. Yesterday I found her at home with a chap that was trying to sell her something to do with reducing the heating bill, this person also told her lots of sob stories about his dreadful life (none of which I believe) but my poor mum was worn out with this chap talking for over an hour and she, like me, really didn't know what he was trying to sell, I asked him for a business card and any product information, which of course he didn't have. I managed to get rid of him sharpish when I arrived. My question is how to help my mum just put the phone down and refuse to let these people into the house, I have no idea if he actually made an appointment or just turned up on the door, and poor mum can't remember. Any help, most appreciated.
     
  2. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    801
    North East
    There is a device that can be bought for I think around £100 that stops cold calls. I'm certain someone in here will know what it's called. As for when she answers or answers the door, to be honest there is little I can suggest. I would guess it is in her nature as it often is with nice people, to trust people. The times I've heard my mum say "he was really lovely" my response being "of course he was, any company would fold in 10
    Seconds if their sales team were horrible to people!!!" Still it doesn't resonate and she doesn't have any form of dementia, it's just the way she is. I would look around to the neighbours and see if collectively they can help guard each other when sales people call. Other than that I hope other posters come up with better ideas.
     
  3. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,995
    UK
    Do you have LPA for her? If so you could put a sign up in her house stating that any purchase or contract has to be signed by you or it is null and void. Legal action will be taken against any company etc. and the police notified. it might frighten off a few of the Cowboys.
     
  4. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,899
    Female
    Scotland
    Phone calls: sign up for TPS, buy a phone such as BT 6500 which can block unwanted calls eg withheld numbers, calls from abroad, specific numbers you don't want contacting her, scratch her security number from the back of her card so she can't be scammed into buying things she doesn't need (make a note of it first of course).

    Get a printed card NO COLD CALLERS/NO SALES PEOPLE and put it on the front door or garden gate.
     
  5. ITBookworm

    ITBookworm Registered User

    Oct 26, 2011
    453
    Glasgow
    The unit that blocks phone calls is called "Truecall" and their web site is http://www.truecall.co.uk/

    It is quite expensive at £100 but we got it because we were fed up being interrupted all the time with junk calls. We knew to ignore them or not answer but it must be so much more confusing for someone with dementia!! It has been brilliant :D The only calls we get are from people we already know :cool:
     
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    #6 Witzend, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
    It's called Truecall, I think. Neighbour who was very badly scammed by a 'lottery' , where they contacted her always by phone, had one installed by her children. If I ring now I have to go through a 'screen' of trusted callers only.
    Neighbour does not even have dementia, but old and naive enough to believe anyone saying she works for NatWest bank, and guess what? You've won a lottery you didn't even enter! A million quid! Only you will have to pay tax on your prize first, (and again and again and again) and by the way, don't tell any of your relatives, they'll only be jealous and try to put you off... Grrrrrrrrrrrr
     
  7. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    483
    Essex
    #7 Risa, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
    Hi Scared Cat and sorry to hear that your Mum is being pestered in this way :( You can get stickers to put by the door but not sure how well they work. You could also call 101 and get advice from your local police as they may have suggestions.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stop-Cold-Calling-Door-Sticker/dp/B008ACETRU

    Something you might want to consider is whether your Mum's money is safeguarded if she does get ensnared by a cold caller. Can you take away any credit cards or put a limit on the amount of money she can spend? Definitely think about getting POA set-up as if your Mum is too trusting it will leave her very vulnerable to sharks :(
     
  8. Scared Cat

    Scared Cat Registered User

    Aug 18, 2015
    5
    Thanks we are in the process of getting it done, but I think I could still put the sign up and if they are cowboys it would scare them away..... thanks for that!
     
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,740
    Female
    London
    Get the cold caller sign from MSE: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/no-more-junk
    It's a criminal offence for traders to ignore them.
    You don't need a fancy phone, just get one with a do not disturb feature, it only lets programmed friends and family numbers ring and puts all other calls on silent so Mum can't hear them.
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    The primary problem with the sign is that then you are basically advertising that "here is a vulnerable adult". It might put off companies that are looking for someone to sign an ongoing contract, but could quite possible attract "real" thieves. I wouldn't do it.

    Edit - this isn't in reference to the no cold callers sign: that's a good idea.

    Have you thought of a camera, with a "you are being recorded" sign? It's not a perfect solution though.
     
  11. Scared Cat

    Scared Cat Registered User

    Aug 18, 2015
    5
    It is quite expensive at £100 but we got it because we were fed up being interrupted all the time with junk calls. We knew to ignore them or not answer but it must be so much more confusing for someone with dementia!! It has been brilliant :D The only calls we get are from people we already know :cool:[/QUOTE]


    Thanks I took a look it does look good, not sure how mum would cope with the press the button to talk to the person, press the next for don't etc.. well worth a look, thank you for sharing...
     
  12. Scared Cat

    Scared Cat Registered User

    Aug 18, 2015
    5
    I think if I could leave a note on the dining table that is where anyone would sit if they came in, it might just do the trick, I wouldn't put it outside. I just wish she wasn't so trusting, which is lovely in itself but not when there are nasty people out there..
     
  13. Scared Cat

    Scared Cat Registered User

    Aug 18, 2015
    5
    Oh thank you for the sign info... I will see if mums phone as the facility, it is quite a new phone there.
     
  14. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,995
    UK
    I didn't mean a sign outside, I meant somewhere like the coffee table or by the phone.
     
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Sorry Lemony - misunderstood what you were saying. :)
     
  16. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,995
    UK
    I was making a meal at the time so probably didn't think of alternative meanings.

    These nasty low life sales people have given us some really bad experiences. It was only because of a POA that we managed to stop a cheque and stop a lot of money being lost.
     
  17. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Welcome!

    ScaredCat, welcome to TP. I am sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis. I know you must have a lot going on right now. TP is a great place for advice and support and also a safe place to vent, whenever you need it.

    I do not wish to contradict you, or be the voice of doom, but are you sure your mum is managing money as well as she thinks? Many people with dementia do not have awareness that anything is wrong and even when they are not coping, in their reality, they are. One look at my mum's chequebook register showed me that not only was she not coping with her finances, but that she hadn't been for some time. In fact, you can see her cognitive decline clearly in the register: her handwriting and record keeping slowly get worse.

    You've received good advice to get the legal documents you need, and sooner rather than later.

    Once you have Power of Attorney sorted (sorry, I'm in the States and our system works differently to yours) then I'd suggest a meeting with the bank manager. I would set up whatever you can so that you have access to/control over her accounts and any debit/ATM/credit cards associated with the accounts and the bank.

    Online banking has been a godsend in dealing with my mother's financial affairs. If I had had access sooner, I could have kept an eye on her account and would have known about the withdrawals of cash, have seen which ATM or bank branch she was using, and seen the recurring charges on her debit cards to "charities." I would also have seen the cheques she had written to other "charities."

    My mum was lucky in that she was only scammed for a short time, to only a few "charities," and that the amount was affordable. (We are also working with the bank to try to recover some of the funds.) It was still scary and upsetting, and it's that much less money I have to spend on her care and things she needs. I would not like anyone else to have to go through this, unnecessarily. I've heard much worse stories!

    Another item to be aware of, at least here in the States, are mailings asking for donations, and catalogs. My mother was not yet vulnerable to those (as she threw all her mail away; thank you, dementia!) but I have an elderly aunt who is, and has spent loads of money on all sorts of ridiculous "charities" and merchandise she doesn't use.

    I'm sorry I don't have better advice to prevent the calls and uninvited guests.
     
  18. mahjx001

    mahjx001 Registered User

    Jul 27, 2010
    12
    #18 mahjx001, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
    LPA is essential

    Hi there
    I would advise that an LPA is a must and get it sorted quickly as in early stage dementia sufferers are capable of making decisions And setting this up with a solicitor. My mum was diagnosed in January, luckily we thought ahead and 2 years ago took mum to sort out the LPA so I could help her if the time came.
    That time has come and over the last year mum has become incapable of making sensible decision regarding finances, she is also easily influenced e.g cold calls and leaflets. Many times I have had to call companies and get refunds for things she doesn't need. She was diagnosed in January and thank goodness we Have registered the LPA and I took a copy to the banks etc. I have just been able to keep an eye on things, but the time has come for me to restrict what mum can do. Banks are great help, they have restricted withdrawals and will help me if mum tries to start changing anything. Building societies are more of a challenge, but can also support.
    In the last week my mum has paid nearly £1000 to a solicitor for basically looking into nothing, with the help if the doctor we have got he money back and so hence my decision to restrict and manage the financial side.
    So don't delay, the progression can be rapid and if you are prepared it can really help
     

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