Mum has problems with leaving phone off hook

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by dianasnan, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. dianasnan

    dianasnan Registered User

    Jun 18, 2007
    11
    Hi,

    My Mum has 3 phones in her house on advice of homecare. however recently she has been leaving one phone propped up on it's lead when she thought that she had replaced the receiver. Hence at these times no one can ring her sometimes for hours at a time. I drew arrows on the phone handsets and receivers with a permanent marker which helped to get them replaced in the right direction but its the tangled lead under the handset which is proving more of a problem. Can't keep asking her keyholders to go along and get her to replace the phone properly especially as she is paranoid that one of her keyholders is always going into her house and moving or taking things (definitely not true). Due to other family commitments and the fact that I don't drive it's not always possible to go there personally as this is happening on a regular basis now.

    any one have any practical ideas that might help?
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    No advice, I'm afraid but every sympathy: I had this all the time when my mother was living on her own. Exceptionally frustrating when you're 3500 miles away, I can tell you. I suppose if it's only the lead, maybe a cordless phone would help, but I have to say, what happens then is that it never gets put on the base so the battery never gets recharged: my mother ended up doing better with a corded wall phone. It couldn't be put on the wrong way, and it was more obvious even to her if the receiver was left dangling.

    Jennifer
     
  3. Zadok

    Zadok Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    68
    Kent
    Phone locators

    My mum had this trouble. She put the receiver back with the ear part where the mouth part should go so it wasn't actually back on its rest. I tried fixing a big coloured label and matchng one onto the base so if mum matched the two coloured circles it would be right. (And can you guess I once taught a reception class?)
    It didn't actually work every time!
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,665
    Kent
    I think this is really difficult to cope with.

    When my mother left her phone off the hook, she lived literally round the corner and I could be there in 5 minutes. How often I found her asleep in bed, with the phone on the bed, having knocked the handset away while she slept. She kept the phone on the bed for her own security so she could put her hand on it in an emergency.

    Thinking back, I don`t know how we got through it, and I realize just how vulnerable she was. Yet we lived like this for probably a year.

    I can only sympathize.
     
  5. Gill W

    Gill W Registered User

    Jan 31, 2007
    190
    Co. Durham
    We've not come across this issue yet with my Gran.

    However we have come across the problem that she doesn't answer the blessed thing! lol

    She knows what it's for, because she can ring my mum perfectly well (how she remembers where to look for the number I still have to work out!). but getting an answer when we call her.............

    Gill
    xx
     
  6. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hi Dianasnan,

    Are all the phones the same? Or does mum have to work out which one is which?

    (Brilliant idea BTW, Zadok ..... will certainly be introducing 'colour coding' and pictures for mum instead of the 'big notes' I leave as 'instructions' ...... Thanks!)

    Just a thought - but we are so into 'push button technology' ..... would good old 'dial' telephones be more appropriate for some sufferers????? In terms of dialling out, perhaps more difficult (or if they have sustained longer term memory of using that type of telephone ... perhaps not?)

    In terms of replacing handsets on the cradle and accepting incoming calls - a good old 'Bakerlite' type phone must surely be easier - and if that is too difficult to make outgoing calls ....... some kind of one-button 'device' to alert keyholders or off-site carers if they needed to ....

    Karen, x
     
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #7 Margarita, Jun 19, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
    what use to happen with my mother she never use to put the phone down after a conversation to me , so when I pick my phone up , I was still on line with my mother house & could not make another phone call , (that was so frustrating) for a long while all I could hear when I pick up the phone was the back ground noise in her house .

    then it went on to my mother use to pick it up the wrong way around & talk into the ear peace .

    .

    Must say both those idea sound good.

    PS I know with my phone when I do not put the receiver down properly , it make a loud noise , warning nose but after around 5 min it stop making the noise.

    (I have teenager that seen to bash the phone around . I have so many phone , that finally I got a cordless, then they forget to put it in the base to recharge it . I Just can't win )
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Oh brother, I know THAT experience. Mine would think of something in the middle of a coversation, wander off and then either forget she was having a conversation or forget where she'd put the phone. I'd hear this little plantive voice in the background saying "Jenny? Jenny?" and I'd be literally screaming down the phone "Pick up the phone, follow my voice". I do NOT miss that.
     
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #9 Margarita, Jun 19, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
    Oh I could laugh now thinking about those times , and in what you said happen to you , but better not laugh to much or I would cry , No I also do not miss those time . so I shall just :)
     
  10. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Whenever my mother did anything silly with her phone it wasn't her, it was "Shona and Podsnap".

    No, there was nothing we could do about it but phone a neighbour, and they all had enough of it.
     
  11. dianasnan

    dianasnan Registered User

    Jun 18, 2007
    11
    thanks for all your ideas especially for the idea of a wall phone.

    She has 1 phone with big buttons ,1 with relatively big buttons but the other one is medium sized on a little ledge in the hall and is the one with the tangled cord, ideal for a wall phone. This is the one that causes more problems but she has had this one for at least 15 years .Both her hall phone and big button phone have been left off the cradle in the last 24 hrs, very frustrating. the arrows written on the phones have definitely helped keep the handsets round the right way most of the time.

    Have laminated A4 lists of phone numbers in large letters which I stuck to her wall with white tack and she now does the rounds of dialling most numbers to get hold of one of the family eventually.
     
  12. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Diana,

    sorry I'm a little late catching up with this thread! This may be an idea for the future or at least worth checking out. It is not directly it may help.

    Just a thought, but have you looked into the BLEEP system? Not sure if all councils run it or provide a similar service. But Bournemouth council helped us get in contact with a company that provided a special alarm service. Basically they gave mum and alarm that she could keep by her bed or wear a special necklass around her neck. If she pressed the alarm it called a service which would set off a loud speaker asking her if she needed help and giving her clear instructions. If mum did not answer (and it was very sensitive picking up her voice about 8 meters away) they would firstly call me, then my uncle close by and they another number. The service was about £2.50 a month.

    Mum only used it a couple of times but it was a godsend for someone living on her own. Not sure if it would suit your mums needs but the staff always seemed informed about the situation and really professional.

    If you want to get and idea of what I'm rambling about check out this link. It may be worth phoning your local authority to see if they have something similar or if they have any other schemes

    http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/resid...services/general/community_alarm_services.asp

    just a thought
    good luck
    Craig
     
  13. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    Craig, your system may be different, but I found that because the alarm system used the phone line that the phone did, the phone being off the hook meant the alarm system was non-functional.

    Actually, not to get totally off track, but the alarm system caused my mother deep distress - she never could remember to use the button as intended, and when on occasion she pressed it in error, the "disembodied" voice from the alarm service sent her into a flat spin. Also, because of the inter connection between the phone system and the alarm system, we had several incidents where the whole thing got tied up in an impossible loop and I ended up having international conference calls with the call center and a BT engineer to try and sort it out. Not intending to be a downer, because I think they can be very valuable tools, but they have their drawbacks as well.
     
  14. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    #14 CraigC, Jun 19, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
    Good point jennifer!

    You need to talk to these people before installing anything! They must understand the persons needs and it may not suit everyone. Mum was ill herself looking after dad who has alzheimers, but it was a lifeline for all of us.

    The people we used were personal and great if you called, I tested it a few times myself and was amazed how friendly they were. Not all councils runs these schemes but it is worthing checking out what is available.

    Pretty sure the one I linked to was non-profit/charitable...

    good luck!!
    Craig
     
  15. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Mum has an emergency call system, a box on the window sill and a cord for round her neck. She won't weat the cord, says she is scared of pressing it inadvertently, so it it put - by the side of the box. No use at all. Well, you can only do your best!
     
  17. Memori

    Memori Registered User

    Sep 22, 2006
    43
    Those last messages made me laugh for the first time today, thanks!, my Mum has three house phones, one main one that used to have an answer machine untill the transformer broke, I did think about getting her a new one but thought that would be more confusing, two up by her bed one each side both cordless, but she either unplugs the electric so the handsets dont charge up or last time she unplugged the phone socket, she also has two mobile phones that she has never used and refuses to keep switched on, I have tried every few minutes for up to six hours to get her to answer the phone, only for her to say I was asleep or in the other room, oh and she has just asked who else wants a cup of tea when we are the only people here! you have to try and see the funny side.
     
  18. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #18 Margarita, Jun 21, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
    Shame someone does not invent a phone in the wall , that when it rings all you have to do is press a button talk into it , at end of conversation, phone closes the connection it self , when the other person at the other end of the phone puts the phone down or

    presses a special button , that is link to the caller phone , because this phone `I am imagining is for people with Dementia / AZ
     
  19. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I think cordless phones can be great but ..... I only have a small house and have 4 handsets. Frequently the phone will ring and I can't find a handset! I am sure this would be much more likely in someone with dementia - although less likely in someone who kept their house tidier than me ie most people! :eek:
     
  20. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #20 Margarita, Jun 22, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
    lol @
    Sounds like my house , also what can happen , I think someone said it already about taking the plug out of the wall that is charging the hand set , Yes I toot the plug out to charge my mobile , not realizing that you had to to keep the plug in ALL the time so it charges phone.

    I get right :confused: about when you pick phone up do you have to press for connection to talk to the person ,

    like when it rings and you pick it up from the base , do you have to press to open the connection or is the person they , like when they ring on a normal phone you just pick it up & talk

    I shall get the hang of it soon:rolleyes: . I suppose if I look at it like a mobile , that when its not in its base charging or in the base or just laying around to open the connection when it rings , just like a mobile I have to press a button to open the connection


    I think its all to confusing for someone with dementia to use , if they have never use one before they got dementia /AZ. does my head in trying to get use to it , let alone some with dementia.

    I had one when they first came out , could not get the hang of it then could never get a good reception , so gave up now 6 years on the reception great so now am going to persevere with it :)
     

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