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 I want to make things easier for her.... 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:27 pm
Posts: 1
Post I want to make things easier for her....
Hello all...first time here. My 62 year old Mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body in late April of this year. A very quick decline, she was told she could no longer drive or live alone right away. I moved across the country to help facilitate the move into a home, and to be closer to her. She has been in assisted living for a month now. And everyday things seem to be harder and harder for her to do. We got her a very simple phone...but pushing the buttons has now become a challenge. It's "I can't get's broken"...I put a note above the phone that says "when red light is blinking, push to get messages" and another that says "to make a call, pick up handset and dial number" (numbers are in big print next to phone).
Not working....any ideas on how to help make this easier for her? I tell others and family just to keep calling in the hopes that she will pick up because she can't figure out how to get a message or call out...
thanks in advance...

Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:19 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Many states have programs to get phones for the disabled. Some phones may have one or two pictures on them, and that's it. If you live in CA, by chance, it's called the CTAP program. I think the phone is free with an MD's prescription.

Many with dementia lose the ability to operate a phone. Certainly retrieving messages is too complex for her.

What I did when I wanted to speak with my father is I'd call one of the private caregivers we hired or, if none was on duty, I called the wellness center at the care facility, and asked them to answer the phone, hand it to Dad, and then go back in a few minutes to be sure he had hung it up.

Communication is one of the biggest challenges we faced.

Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:47 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:45 am
Posts: 103
Location: St.Paul
sorry you are going through this. I don't think there is anyway to "teach" her how to use the phone and message retrieval. It is way too complicated for their minds to grasp. Same with the remote control or any gadget. They just can't think that way anymore.
I find our phone in all sorts of places; refridge, freezer, microwave, drawers - same with the remote. Never remembers to hang it up. My LO carries a piece of paper with everyone's phone numbers on it. It is like his Bible. He will not leave the house without it nor let anyone touch it. But he is unable to dial the phone. Usually he can't figure out how to speak in it and hold up to his ear. When the kids call he just looks at it and asks them over and over where they are - as if they are inside the phone. A foreign object.
I like Robin's suggestion. You will probably have to do that. By trying to get her to figure out how to use the phone it will only cause her to get irritated and frustrated when she can't do it. That will upset her and who knows what can happen then. Best to have someone help her. No sense leaving messages - she'll never get them unless you retrieve them yourself. The phone is really quite complicated for them. Sorry to tell you all that. But it is a reality of Lewy.
Hang in there. You will figure out a system that works. Trial and error.

In & out of stage 4.

Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:35 pm

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
I set our kitchen wall phone so all Frank has to do is lift the receiver and put redial and it goes directly to the last # dialed on THAT phone. I have it going to my cell, on occasion I do an errand or go over the office, two bldgs from our house, so Frank can get in touch with me. But even those 2 steps, he can seldom accomplish. He doesn't always recognize me as his wife so he'll call my cell to see where I am. I will go to my pocketbook, take the phone out and stand beside him talking on phones. He'll ask "where are you, can you come home now"? After we hang up he'll say, "She said she would come home but she never does"?????????? So even 2 steps can be to much for them to comprehend. There are so many questions and few answers, hang in there.
Take Care,

Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:25 am

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 976
Location: Henderson, Nv.
So true. Phone, remote control, keys, radio, Ipod, seatbelt, shoelaces, all too difficult for them. It has to be so demeaning to these wonderful people who at one time were a great contribution to society. So terribly sad for them.

Dianne C.

Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:13 am

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:52 am
Posts: 118
Location: BC, Canada
Also it's only been a month since you moved her to the assisted living place. I know with Henry we moved the end of August and he went downhill so fast it was almost unbelieveable - by the end of November we hadn't changed his meds or anything yet (we were still waiting to get in to see a new doctor - someone that knew about LBD) he was starting to come back to the way he was before we moved and today he is back to a far better quality, not as good as before we moved but a whole lot better than after we first moved. He couldn't do anything with the phone up until about 2 weeks ago and now he is back to answering it. He still gets confused somewhat by it if the person on the other end doesn't answer right away and he still can't dial out on it but at least he can answer it. I have to go into the hospital on Friday for a few days and our grandson will be staying with here with him mainly because he can't dial out.

Elizabeth 64, wife of Henry 46 yrs. he was dx'd in fall of 2008

Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:52 am
Posts: 14
Location: Portland, OR
Post Easy-To-Use Phone
We got my dad a phone that has buttons with spaces for pictures of people instead of numbers. It took some time to program in the numbers and print out all the pictures, but it was worth it. All he has to do now is punch the face of the person he wants to talk to. These kinds of phones are available at lots of online stores. The ones that specialize in phones had a better selection than the stores that specialize in old-folks stuff.

Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:48 pm

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:55 pm
Posts: 39

My thoughts are with you, my Mum is 62 aswell- too young. :?

Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:20 pm
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