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Starting to get calls in middle of the night

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Doghouse, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Doghouse

    Doghouse Registered User

    Dec 30, 2015
    Folkestone, Kent
    On early hours of Saturday morning mum called me asking time and giving shopping list. Since then I have had calls every morning at varying times from 3am. Read a blog this evening about someone starting to wander at night and am now asking myself if this is what's going on with mum.
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I'm sorry to hear about this but you are not alone in receiving out of hours and/or repetitive phone calls. If you do a search you will find lots of threads about this. My mother mostly did the repeating calls, only a few in the middle of the night, but she did get her days and nights turned round. It was distressing to be woken out of a sound sleep and then have her be oblivious and chattering away about nothing of import, when you were expecting something awful. We had to get voice mail (I couldn't stand to listen to her messages on the answering machine) and caller ID so I could choose when to answer the phone. I went through a period where I would cry when the phone rang. It's very stressful.

    You may need to consider turning the phone off at night, or having a dedicated number for your mother to ring that, when you don't answer it, will go to voicemail/answerphone with a message like "Hi, Mum, I can't talk right now but I will ring you soon!" or something reassuring to that effect.

    Here is a thread to get you started (with links to others) if you want to have a read here on TP about others' experiences with the phone calls: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?89569-Phone-Calls

    As I understand it, it's common for people with dementia to lose their sense of time and this can happen at any stage, even early on. I think it's related to memory loss in general but am not sure. Have you read any of the factsheets on the Alzheimer Society's website? Many of them are quite good. Here is one about general memory loss: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=123

    My only other thought is to ask what sort of routines and support your mother has. Does she have daily carers coming in, does she go to day care or a lunch club, that sort of thing, that would help give her social contact and structure?
  3. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    When OH was diagnosed, he started to wander a lot. Your Mum may not be wandering at all but maybe mixing up night and day. All you can do is try to find out what is happening.
    Sending you virtual hug.

    Aisling (Ireland)
  4. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    I started getting this as mum got day and night confusedm she would sleeo all day and be up all night. Its very hard and sh started pressing her alert and knicking on the doors of neighbours. Sometimes she was just scared. It helped me decide she needed 24hr care. The fear dissolved and she was so much happier.

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