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Dementia in the 21st C - disturbing text /sms messages
Child controls and blocks.
I understand what you said about providing an outlet, but there are other outlets and too many potential dangers here, besides worrying others needlessly. You must be exhausted of this.
If she’s doing this, falling for phone scams, fake “Medicare” and “social security” are real possibilities. What if she repreatedly calls for ambulance or cops with no need? They can start charging, or less readily responsive. What if she starts buying a lot of unneeded objects, or stocks, or timeshares?
There have been many threads and discussions here about this same situation, which almost always leads to serious problems. Using controls and blocks on the phone is quite common. She may also need a different phone, or fewer phones. But it sounds like controls and blocks are needed.
How long this may last is unpredictable. Sometimes it goes on for a year. It’s different with everybody.
IMO the solution is different for every PWD. The simplest fixes worked the best for me.
Your H should turn off his phone at night. Other people would have the sense to try your # if there is a true emergency.
If she is disturbing many people, I would probably remove the battery from her phone + keep saying you are waiting for an appointment with Verizon or whatever to have it fixed. Eventually she will not be able to use the phone, so these phases stop.
BTW, if she has numbers preprogrammed where she can just phone someone by pressing one button, those should be disabled at the very least.
Check with her doctor about sleep aids to get her off the phone at night. Does she drink also?
And yes, restrict when you'll accept calls - block her at 9 every night, your health matters.
This isn't an outlet like when a newly divorced gf needs to vent and then gets over it, this is sadly, a diseased mind just babbling . If you were to do anything she says she wants, she wouldn't remember it or say she still wants it the next day.
See if you can check her phone log while visiting, there are so many scams... she's prime to fall for them -- the long distant number single ring is the current one.
And blocking the elderly relatives numbers would be a kindness to them, tell them you'll give updates but geez who wants to hear one of them fell at night going back to bed upset after one of her calls.
You got advice but the real issue here is her dementia-that is her root cause -and it is causing these types of behaviors. There may be drugs she can tolerate to help her, ex: antidepressants, mood stablizers, sleeping pills. If she hasn't-she should be seen by a neurologist with a lot of Alz experience and get a work up done. If she is on something now-maybe they are not working and so they need to be adjusted.
Whenever my mother had a behavior crop up (and they did and they change often-sometimes getting better, other times worse) I always looked at her holistically -was she tired? Bored? Afraid? Confused? Hungry? Depressed? In pain? Too much stimulation? Anxious? And then I would work to get the underlying issue resolved.
I know you live too far away to implement any fixes, so her husband needs to educate himself for his wife's and his own sake and happiness. Please ask him to join us here.
Don't much around with her GP on this one. Find an MD Geriatric Psychiatrist who works with dementia patients - they know this very important class of medication very well, and can appropriately prescribe the correct dosage, and combination of medications to help with this behavior - which in turn makes caregiving a lot easier
A thread of suicide is always to be taken seriously - so before you call block so hubby can function, get her stable.
There is also an obsessive/fixation component to the disease that can be helped with medication.