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Mum constantly pressing the "help" ringer by her bed

JAG1967

New member
Feb 23, 2020
1
Hello everyone

I care for my mum full time, who lives with us, she's 85, bedridden, with dementia and parkinsons.

I wanted a way for her to let me know if she needed anything whilst I'm downstairs, or asleep, rather than shouting and waking my other half and my daughter up. So I brought one of those portable doorbells, where she has the press button doorbell by her bed, and I carry the ringing unit around in my pocket, or put by my bed at night.

The trouble is, for the last few months, she has spells of constantly ringing it for no reason. It's either "to see what it does", "to see what it sounds like", "I didn't know I had rung it", and other reasons. It's not so bad in the daytime, but when she's ringing it during the night time, and waking me up sometimes up to 10 times a night, it's getting exhausting. If it's for a reason (she's had an accident in bed etc) then that's fine, but most of the time it's for no reason. I have anaemia, high BP, diabetes, and am constantly exhausted, and don't know what to do anymore. Obviously I ask her not to, and she promises she won't, but as soon as I've got back into bed she's ringing it again as she forgot! I've taken the bell away sometimes in frustration, but then she either shouts, or bangs her clock up and down on the bedside table!

Would love to know what other people use for their loved ones to call them if they need help.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,303
N Ireland
Hello @JAG1967 and welcome to the forum.

It does seem that you have a situation that is less help than intended. Compulsive behaviours are common enough so it may be hard to resolve this.

I wonder if some alternatives like a bed wetting alarm or pull up might be better.

I'm sure that others with experience of a similar situation will be along tomorrow to advise and that you are able to keep posting now that you have found us.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
138
Could you put a baby alarm ( the type where you can talk to the baby) on her bedside table. That way you could enquire what the problem is without getting out of bed.
defiantly pull up pants. Better still a proper high quality night pad, that would soak up urine so effectively she doesn’t wake.
Melatonin ? Or some other night meds??
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
138
Could you put a baby alarm ( the type where you can talk to the baby) on her bedside table. That way you could enquire what the problem is without getting out of bed.
defiantly pull up pants. Better still a proper high quality night pad, that would soak up urine so effectively she doesn’t wake.
Melatonin ? Or some other night meds??
I mean the night meds for her! not you haha!
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
436
Mid Lincs
My OH had the opposie when in hospital, they gave him a bell and he had no idea what is was for. I visited him one time to find him with at his ear thinking it was phone and he was trying to call me, bless him.

Could it be at night when awake your mum is lonely or anxious? Would a radio playing soft music help so she thinks someone is in the room with her?
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
201
My sympathies as Dad can be similar. Dad calls me with his watch - won't do it for weeks then it's every five minutes. We can't explain and he can't learn to not do it now. The idea was that if he was in trouble it would call me but he won't remember to press it even if he fell over. I don't think any system which is not automatic will work for you now - if she has to do an action, she'll either never use it, or she'll use it constantly.

Is she still shouting as well? Or only pressing? Sounds like the puppy/night pad thing is a good idea, as is the radio on low at night.

For more emergency type situations I believe you can get those pressure mats which make a sound when they step on them to alert to things like falling or getting out of bed - that, coupled with a baby monitor camera may be helpful?
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,226
cornwall
Hello everyone

I care for my mum full time, who lives with us, she's 85, bedridden, with dementia and parkinsons.

I wanted a way for her to let me know if she needed anything whilst I'm downstairs, or asleep, rather than shouting and waking my other half and my daughter up. So I brought one of those portable doorbells, where she has the press button doorbell by her bed, and I carry the ringing unit around in my pocket, or put by my bed at night.

The trouble is, for the last few months, she has spells of constantly ringing it for no reason. It's either "to see what it does", "to see what it sounds like", "I didn't know I had rung it", and other reasons. It's not so bad in the daytime, but when she's ringing it during the night time, and waking me up sometimes up to 10 times a night, it's getting exhausting. If it's for a reason (she's had an accident in bed etc) then that's fine, but most of the time it's for no reason. I have anaemia, high BP, diabetes, and am constantly exhausted, and don't know what to do anymore. Obviously I ask her not to, and she promises she won't, but as soon as I've got back into bed she's ringing it again as she forgot! I've taken the bell away sometimes in frustration, but then she either shouts, or bangs her clock up and down on the bedside table!

Would love to know what other people use for their loved ones to call them if they need help.
My dad just shouts but I don’t live with him. He has a helpline buzzer on his wrist but I doubt he would remember to use it.
Tbh this happens a lot in PWD ,especially in homes. But there they have more than one person to answer it... Could you’re mum go in for respite for a couple of weeks to give you a break?
 

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