Constant telephone calls

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by yadit0, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. yadit0

    yadit0 Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    Hi my mum of 87 has vascular dementia, at the moment she is ringing me every 10 mins. through the day, I answer every phone call and try to explain that she has rung me again, with the same question " I have this number" yes mum it my number, she only has my telephone number as I have had to take all other numbers away as she would just go down the list and ring the numbers. When I visit her I find my telephone number written in a list on 5-6 sheets of paper, she has also written my number all over the carers book, and on any bit of paper she can find. Can any one help as to why this happens and if any one has any suggestions what I can do to help her stop this.
  2. Liz57

    Liz57 Registered User

    Dec 22, 2013

    I can't offer any advice to be honest but didn't want this to go un responded to. I could have written it as my mum does exactly the same thing. I've had to unplug the phone to get some peace as the constant calls were getting me down.

    Maybe someone can come up with something that works.
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #3 Witzend, Apr 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
    This is very common, but it's almost certainly no use trying to reason with her or persuade her to stop. She is probably completely unable to remember at any time that she phoned you only ten minutes previously, and already twenty times that day. She will almost certainly not remember any instructions you may give or leave for her, not because she doesn't want to do what you ask, but because her memory won't let her. (At one point my mother was ringing my brother up to 30 times in one hour, but because her short term memory was so bad she had no idea that she was ringing so often.).

    The only realistic way to stop it driving you mad is to switch your phone off for most of the time. If this is impossible, because you need to be able to receive other calls, then what some people do is to have a dedicated number for 'mum' calls, with a personal message to say e.g., 'Sorry, Mum, I can't talk just now, but I'll ring you back very soon.' So that at least she would hear your voice.

    But neither of these is ideal, I know.
  4. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    My mum was the same, she had a phone with my number programmed in & would just sit & push the button. Sometimes she'd be talking to me on the phone & she'd be pushing the pre-set button to phone me :confused:

    In the end I blocked her number on my phone from 11pm until 6 am, so at least I could sleep.

    It is so common, but shreds your nerves, I used to feel sick every time the phone rang & if I'd been out I would dread coming home to the ever more desperate messages.

    My mum's in a care home now, so that problem, at least has gone.
  5. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    My Mum did exactly the same, used to ring me all day long continually and often left really nasty messages, so sad. I got very depressed with it all. She then started all night long when she was really ill. :(

    I would get another phone for your use which you can have on and answer freely, and with your existing mobile number just keep that solely for your Mum, have the recorded message like the other member suggested to reassure your Mum but only speak to your Mum when you are able, maybe set a time once in the morning and once at night and have the phone on silent the rest of the time. It does feel harsh but you need some sanity in this. The disease is so awful and she can't remember she's doing it. Be careful about your Mum's bill and maybe inform her telephone provider to see ifyou can get a discount as I found my Mum's bills were astronomical with BT.

    Good luck. x
  6. Sparkle3

    Sparkle3 Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    My mum was diagnosed in 2010 and also did this. She started to do it in 2015. She would start in the afternoon and continue until I arrived in the evening after work when I'd go to visit her. Then the calls suddenly stopped a few months ago & she no longer does it!Obviously she didn't know she was calling me so many times. I put the need to phone me down to her feeling anxious about something? My Hubby installed a pc screen beside her sofa in the living room with bespoke software that gives numerous reassuring messages relevant to my Mum. It's now become her best friend. The messages answer all the questions she would ask repeatedly when we'd visit. I do feel for you as I didn't realise how much the calls stressed me out until Mum stopped doing it. Take care

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point

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