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My father is 69 and has advanced Parkinson's and I believe Lewy Body Dementia. He has a lot of trouble with his phone, and believes people are going in and changing the numbers. He will look at his recent call list and try to call someone, but hit the wrong button and it will call someone else. No matter how much I try to show him what is actually happening, he does not believe me and believes that my explanation makes no sense. He has a password on his phone, but we had to simplify it because he always forgets. He has aides who help him during the day, and he thinks they are getting into his phone. He will call me throughout the day and then insist he did not call me and someone is doing something. I have gotten him a easy to use phone, but he cannot figure it out and deletes numbers all the time.



Every time I try to give him a rational explanation, he yells at me and tells me I'm wrong. I have also tried to redirect him, but he gets insistent. I will show him the phone and that no numbers are changed, and he then says I delete the evidence or someone else did. Is there anything I can do?

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Oh, for advice? Don't bother trying to explain to him. Or show him the proof that you're right and he's wrong. Obviously not going to help him (or you!). Just give him some vague response to his outrageous claims and change the subject. If he calls you by mistake just say ok, I'll talk to you later then. If the calls get really excessive you can always turn off your volume is you're busy and check the phone when it suits you and call back when you want to.
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Yes, dementia and cell phones is a real trip! My mom says she couldn't call me because she doesn't have my number. I said it was in her phone. It is?? Yup, you've called me from it hundreds of times over the years but now she can only use is sometimes. Now our landline is also an issue since our state just started requiring dialing the area code for every call which is a new issue. And her TV is broken (nope), her remote won't work(nope), etc etc. It's so tiring.
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My mother with advanced dementia had a TON of trouble with her landline, similar to what you mention here. Dementia causes the least little thing to get blown up into a huge drama-fest, no matter what it is, especially when electronics are involved. There's no good answer here, I'm afraid, short of taking dad's phone away entirely, which CAUSES a whole new set of problems.

Dementia is a lose-lose situation for all concerned. That's the bottom line and the truth of the matter. No easy answers exist, and everyone winds up frustrated with everything that transpires. I reached the point with my mother & her phone that I wanted to rip the **** thing out of the wall and toss it out the window, that's how bad things got!

Wishing you the best of luck.
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lealonnie1 Aug 29, 2022
I reached the point with my mother & her phone that I wanted to rip the D*** thing out of the wall & toss it out the window, that's how bad things got! We're all adults here, are we not?
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Why did you password his phone? That to me is one feature he did not need.

I agree landline. Find one that allows you to list names in it where you program #1 button is for you and so on. Then all he need to do is push the button next to your name to call you. Just found this where u use pictures.

https://www.sereneinnovations.com/high-definition-amplified-speakerphone-with-photo-memory.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwx7GYBhB7EiwA0d8oe2vxpqcmVLDJEnuczedJkWVk0NvQ0gP6LzDExCz-U-43FfSpQyRZsBoCZLwQAvD_BwE
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My mom never used a microwave or a VCR because she was sure she'd "crash" them. She was that challenged technologically, and that was decades before dementia came into the picture. She just couldn't learn how to use them, and wasn't interested in learning, so Dad used them and she came along for the ride, so to speak.

I agree with freqflyer -- get a landline. He might even qualify for an ADA phone through the local phone company. My mother got one because she was stone deaf and almost blind, so they gave her a free phone with gigantic buttons and volume and tone controls. The only drawback to that phone was that although it was a push button phone, it operated like a dial phone. (Push a number, then hear it click that many times as it "dialed" that number.) It couldn't be used for any automated calls where you'd be asked to "press 1 for English" or anything like that. I hope they don't still hand out phones that are that archaic, but check with the local phone company or just buy a push-button phone for about $10.
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JoAnn29 Aug 29, 2022
My husband uses phones for the deaf. On his there is an option to have it pulse or tone. Pulse is u hear it dialing, tone is the beep. He has had 2 phones and always chose tone.
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Kmi7688, time for your Dad to go back to the old fashioned Landline desk top telephone. Those of us born in the era of the Landline can use it blindfold. It rings you pick up the receiver, no password is needed. Dad can use an Address Book to look up telephone numbers.

There are no easy to use telephones for seniors. Even the one I bought for myself which is designed for seniors is a real bear to use. The instruction book is 150 pages long and the instructions are written from programmer to programmer, not programmer to senior.

What is nice about landline, there is no misplacing the phone, it is always sitting in the same place. If there are phone jacks, thus one in each room. One doesn't need to re-charge a landline. There are no dropped signals unless the caller is on a cell. And the voice clarity is sooooo much better. And there are no butt calls with a landline :)

The Assisted Living where my Dad lived, they had landline phones to their residents if they needed one. Only thing, Dad had to remember to dial 9 first to get an outside line.
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My brother had Lewy's and my first clue that something was very wrong came of the phone and what was happening. He lived in SoCal and I in the northern part of the state. Calls became irratic with my brother claiming that something was wrong with his phone and spectrum couldn't fix it. He began to order other phones, and still had problems. We would be talking on the phone and suddenly there would be dead space. He had hung up because there was no one there. At first I believed a lot of what he was staying, but when I visited him it became clear it wasn't the phone, but it was his. When my brother was diagnosed and in AL he continued to find the phone to be his biggest problem. He had a bit of paranoia and things going "missing", and he had his hallucinations which he was aware were a part of his diagnosis, and other than that he managed very well, even the small personal account he was in charge of while I handled otherwise, as POA and Trustee, his assets.
There's no way you will convince your Dad, I think, that it isn't the phone--it's him. I honestly wish I could give you better advice, something that would help. I hope others have something I haven't thought of.
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lealonnie1 Aug 29, 2022
Exactly. Phones and dementia patients do NOT co-exist together, period.
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