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Angry Phone Calls!
Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2020 8:56 PM
Joined: 4/5/2020
Posts: 38

My mom - we finally got her moved to Assisted Living this week - note to everyone - don't move before a long weekend when services are spotty -- .  Beautiful place, kind people, does have to quarantine for 14 days - it's like she's fallen off a cliff.  18-20 angry phone calls a day to me and then the same to my sister. Brother gets about 5 calls a day. We each call once a day (and let the rest of the calls go to voicemail).  She threatens to jump out the window to walk home (got that addressed by blocking window to 5 inches), I am no longer her daughter, how could I do this, I am disowned, she is going to leave her estate to the Salvation Army, she is going to call the police, call her lawyer (she has had that # provided at least 6 times), call her accountant, never wants to see me again once I take her home.  And so on.  It is vicious, hurtful and mean.  She also doesn't remember her last 7 weeks in rehab.  She made calls from there as well, but is more upset because her own furniture is at AL which means I intended to 'dump' her.  They are going to assess for 30 days to decide medication, AL vs MC, all that.  I need help for me to understand -- is this another stage of Alzheimers?  Change of setting throwing her? Definitely need to discuss meds.  Her own furniture?  40+ angry phone calls a day can't be good for her to be so amped up.  She moved last Wednesday, but can't see MD or therapists until Tuesday due to long weekend.  Any guidance would be appreciated!
Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:31 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1100

I'm sorry she's so mad. Some people call that the rage stage. Is she using a cell phone to make those calls? I definitely think that many angry calls a day is not good for anyone especially her. Maybe you can discuss this with someone at the home, are they aware of the calls? I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Your mom will adjust in her own time and she will be okay. You do not have to talk to her everyday, especially when she's getting so upset. Try not talking to her for a while and speak with a nurse instead. It's worth a try. Others will have good advice. I just wanted to say I'm sorry for you. Good luck and be kind to yourself
Posted: Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:59 PM
Joined: 5/24/2020
Posts: 2

Hi Ellie4,

I think it is a stage. For the last year or more, I will get angry emails about how the computer won't work right. When I finally say I'll be over later, she is good. Then, I get there and she didn't remember having an issue. My grandmother, didn't like being in a nursing home. (This was prior to cell phones) but she did try to escape a few times.

Just breathe.


Greg G
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:19 PM
Joined: 2/8/2017
Posts: 984

Hey Ellie,

As mentioned, this is probably a phase and a bit at lashing out and upset routine.  Think if all this happened to you at one time and you didn't know or couldn't figure out why.

Good that you are letting the calls go to VM instead of answering all of them.  Another thing would be to let your husband listen to the VMs to see if they are actually important or just mom ranting.  In theory, he won't take it as personally as you would and it would spare you the anguish.

One call you should make is to the facility where mom is and as them how she is when she is not on the phone with any of you.  Because you are only "see" via the phone calls, you are only "seeing" part of the whole picture.  Finding out what the staff is "seeing" could go a long way on your relaxing from you perceive as constant agitation.

All of the rants about disowning, writing you out of the will, I should never have allowed you to do this to me, blah, blah, blah will blow over.  Easier said than done but you just have to ignore it.  Mom blew up at me just like yours is doing in front of my wife.  In 20 years, wife had NEVER seen my mom talk like that especially to her own son.  I knew it was the disease yelling and screaming and not the underlying person that brought me into this world.  So full, frontal deflector shields up and carry on.

You are doing the right things.  It is just tough some times.

Good luck and best wishes,


Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:51 PM
Joined: 2/7/2012
Posts: 494

Oh, yeah, I recognize this behavior.  I have about 30 voicemail messages saved on my cell of my Mom's calls.  I'd get 12-15 per day a few minutes apart.  They were threats interspersed with bribes and pleadings.  It was a pretty awful time.  To force me to take her home, she bribed me with some acreage, she said she was contacting her attorney to write me out of her will, and on and on.   I guess, if I were in her shoes (with anosognosia and scared), I'd probably have made the same kind of calls. 

Here's one of my posts from two years ago:  "Many of us have been in this situation.  When the 20 calls a day to me with threats didn't work, my Mom used her cell and the phone book near the nurse's station to call her church and even near strangers in her town to ask that they come give her a ride home.  Next, she called her renter and offered a month's free rent if the renter would come get her.  When that didn't work, she started calling all the taxi services in her county (she was overheard, so I called them all to let them know the situation and cancelled her reservation).  Then, she got really creative and started calling transit companies (semi-truck haulers), UPS, FedEx, and so on.  After that, we took away her cell phone."

BTW, she was actually more contented after we took away her phone!  Go figure! Hang in there.  You know that you are doing what you need to do to keep her safe.


Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 6:51 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3983

I wonder if her having the phone is actually the stimulus getting her hopped up with anger and reminding her to make the calls?  Of course, having to be in Quarantine is not fun either.  I'm sure most of the residents are confused about that as well.  Is the facility allowing family visits or are you locked out?  (As I am.)

I would think you and your sister and brother could tell mom that she's just there until the doctor says she can go home.  Maybe then she will simmer down.

My mom went through this stage when I had my emergency appendectomy  and called me every. 15 minutes from the moment I got out of recovery until midnight that night.  She called me so much, the nurses were having a hard time doing their jobs.  On the. plus side, they couldn't wait to discharge me and I got out of the hospital the next morning at 7am!

Posted: Sunday, May 31, 2020 6:30 PM
Joined: 4/5/2020
Posts: 38

Thank you all so much!  I tried to respond and it didn't post, so trying again.  It is good to know this is part of the stage, that I am not alone with seeing this behavior and that hopefully it will pass!  She is so confused and angry about everything - if we can get her calmed down, I think she will be very successful in assisted living, since she was living alone 2 months ago, but if not, I think she will wind up in memory care. She is refusing to shower until she goes home.  Ummmmm.  Yuck.  They are so nice and ask her if she would like to shower and she says when she goes home.  I told them to ask her if she would like to shower before dinner or after dinner yesterday.  So she showered (after 2 weeks).   I think we are good for a few more days!  
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020 5:52 PM
Joined: 11/2/2019
Posts: 46

Ellie I've been watching this thread like a hawk because I'm right behind you. Our move in day is Wednesday and I know I'll be in the same boat, except it will be constant angry texts instead of calls. I have no advice, but you're not alone. I spoke to the social worker at my mom's memory clinic and she said to expect for adjustment to take 6-8 weeks. I know that will feel like forever but maybe there's something comforting about knowing there is a timeline??
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020 7:06 PM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 15

My heart goes out to you.  My mother went through this phase.  I consider it one of the worst times of my life.  She was so enraged, her words were so hurtful, and she would call me (and my 4 siblings) constantly throughout the day.  The worst part was that I knew she was in emotional pain, but I couldn't help her calm down. (She lived independently, and I lived in a different state.)  One of the things that worked for me was to simply hang up on her.  She was ranting so much that she wouldn't notice for 15-20 minutes! Sadly, as this phase passed, she went straight into a memory care home.
caregiving daughter
Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020 9:47 PM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2131

My thought is she is not just confused and angry--she is scared. Try to listen. Try not to disagree and rationalize why she is there. Keep it simple--"doctors suggested some help until you feel better"--then distract. If you pick up several times in the morning and then let calls go to voicemail later, call the nurses to ensure she is settling down. Calls go along with the move. Calls may also go along with selling a home or your mom hearing her belongings are being moved or dispersed. Upsetting behavior also comes with an infection so keep a watchful eye out.
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:48 PM
Joined: 6/2/2020
Posts: 4

I was wondering how long that phase lasted. My mother goes in and out of being super angry with me. The most recent time was last week when she said she wanted to strangle and kill me for not letting her go home (from AL). This extreme anger has been going on for approx. 8 months.
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 2:08 PM
Joined: 6/2/2020
Posts: 1

So, sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. My fiancé's mamaw has started with this type of behavior. She is calling every 25 minutes to ask about our reception venue after finding out that it has been canceled due to COVID-19. She gets frustrated with us when we tell her no it hasn't changed and of course we are frustrated by the constant calling.
Jane Smith
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 2:52 PM
Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 168

Like others I have been there and done that with the angry phone calls after the move to a facility (AL).  It got so bad that for a while, I would start to cry every time the phone rang, I kid you not. 

I think it lasted for a few months.  I was the target as I had “dumped” her “in this place” so I could steal her money, sell her house and steal the money, take her things and steal the money, and so on. I was hateful, stupid, awful, you name it. 

Here is what we did. We got caller ID so we knew when she was calling. We did not answer most of her calls. I did not listen to any of the voicemails. My spouse screened them and deleted them if they were hateful. On the rare occasion they were pleasant or she maybe really needed something, he would tell me. Sometimes he would take the call or call her back. I did not speak to her on the phone during this time because even if she started out calm, it wouldn’t end that way.  I was also not seeing her in person during this time because yeah that was a disaster.

Eventually the angry stuff stopped. I don’t honestly remember if she stopped being angry before she stopped being able to call us or not. If you are curious, my husband might recall. 

I also want to say that moving my mother to assisted living was the best thing for her and my only regret is not doing it sooner. Once she settled, which took only a couple of months (and everyone including the staff feared she would never settle) and once we got her meds straightened out and got some of her pressing medical needs attended to, she improved. The routine was good for her. Not being in her home was good for her. Regular nutritious meals and medications on time and social interaction and no responsibilities and less stuff, was all really good for her. She made a friend and loved bingo, things I never ever could have imagined!

I’m just saying that it could work out. I know it’s not a success story for everyone but be open to the idea that it could be better or even different, from what you think.  Good luck. 

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 9:44 PM
Joined: 4/5/2020
Posts: 38

Thank you all so much.  Looking back is NOT an option.  One step forward at a time is where I am right now.  I should be able to have a window visit on Thursday, finally!  Should be interesting.