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Mom has dementia and can't remember numbers but wants to keep her phone, what should I do?

Mom's dementia has gotten bad enough that she doesn't remember how to use her cell phone and is constantly dialing wrong numbers. I tried taking the phone away from her but she panicked at not having it. Is there a way to disable the calling feature but still have the phone light up & make noise as if it is dialing?
Status: Open    Dec 30, 2014 - 03:49 AM

Dementia, Other

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3 answers

Expert Answers

Mar 04, 2015 - 08:44 AM

I don't mean this in a derogatory way, but I would look into toddler applications for your mom's phone. There are several APPs that may fit into your scenario, and discussing the situation with your provider at their office could be helpful.

I have dealt a little with AT&T "Smart Limits," which allows 15 contacts during time restriction. If you restrict the phone 24 hours per day and set the 15, it might reason that they would then be the only numbers allowed to contact in or out on the phone.

Again, I think the best thing to do is check with your provider.


Mar 04, 2015 - 08:45 AM

Contacting your mother's cell phone carrier would be a good place to start. Depending on the service plan your mother has, you may be able to have them block outgoing calls while retaining the sound made by the keypad. However, she will inevitably hear a recording saying something to the effect of "calls are blocked" or hear an error message. If your mother has a smartphone, there may be an app available to block the outgoing call. Both of these options could eventually cause more confusion and become frustrating and disappointing for her.

Your mother must have enjoyed talking to family/friends on her phone and is reluctant to let go of that pleasure. When you visit her, you might offer to call someone for her and set up a "favorites" list for speed dial. This could turn into a regular activity that she begins to associate with your arrival.


Feb 01, 2015 - 12:37 AM

Get a phone where you can put pictures of people instead of just phone numbers.
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