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Care homes /telephones/relatives abroad. - Carers UK Forum

Care homes /telephones/relatives abroad.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi, I have a dilemma.
My Mum has just gone into a care home, she is elderly, has dementia and Alzheimer's. At times she is quite coherent.
My sister lives abroad and always phoned her every day. The care home don't have the time to seek Mam out with the phone etc.
I am wondering should we get a landline in her room, or a mobile for Mum with an international sim?
Does anyone have any advice what's the best thing to do? Cost etc.
Cheers. :)
Calls from sister could be at certain set times, so that your mum could be ready by the phone possibly?

Or ask the home to buy a cordless phone
I'm not sure what to suggest Linda, so much depends on how far advanced Mam's dementia is. I think before you go to the cost of either you need to consider a few things.

Landline in her room - would seem like a good idea but would Mam remember how to use it ? and would she even realise to pick it up if it did ring ? Would your sister be ringing her at the same time everyday ? If so would you be relying on the Care Home staff to make sure she's in her room to take the call at whatever time it was due ? Is it likely that Mam would try to use the phone to make outgoing calls -mine 'forgot' how to use the phone and frequently confused it with the TV remote control and then would tell me that the phone wasn't working !. She did actually run up a large telephone bill when constantly dialling 123 (the speaking clock) whilst trying to change the TV channel between BBC1, BBC2 and ITV using the remote control :roll:

Mobile phone - again would she be able to use it ? Mine never did get the hang of answering a mobile and could never remember which buttons to press and when she did remember would hold the phone upside down or back to front and then couldn't hear properly. Would she remember or would the staff have time to remember to regular re-charge a mobile ?

I'm tending to think along the same lies as Colin and suggest seeing if you can arrange with your sister that she calls at a regular pre-set time so that the care staff know to have Mam ready to take the call at that time.
Hmm, well we asked the care home office and they said its not possible to use them for the calls, or at least they gave the impression.
It just seems a waste of money as you pointed out, Mam isn't really capable to manage a phone line/phone/mobile.
The care home should have advice in their brochure or guidance note for family and friends on this topic surely.

Write a letter to the manager or owner of the home suggesting that your sister could phone at a set time, and request them to suggest what the most suitable time to accommodate their staff requirements would be. Give hem a choice
May I suggest discussing it with Care Manager, but be ready to compromise at perhaps one call a week instead of everyday. Manager may be able to suggest a suitable time.
Remember it will take quite a lot of staff time to get Mum to a fixed phone (they wouldn't want remote handsets left lying around), and she may need supervision after the call too.

We have landline in my mums room but she doesn't have dementia, I can quite see installing one or a mobile wouldn't work

The only other thing I can think of is Skype or similar on a tablet or pc and that you are there when the call is made
My brother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer when with his second wife, who lived in Uruguay. After some horrendously expensive phone calls he told me to sign up for Skype, it worked brilliantly, and was free. Does the home have internet access?
I'm sure Skype may be a possibility but if Linda's Mam's dementia is fairly well developed she may find it too confusing and, agai, there is the problem of the Care Home staff being able/available/willing to help her use it !
Agreed, but realistically someone would need to support mum whatever means of communication was used.
Overseas phone calls can be very expensive, Skype is free, and it would also mean mum could see her daughter, and vice versa, which is impossible with a phone call.
I doubt that Linda's sister has any real understanding of how busy nursing homes can be, maybe it's time to change the sister's routine. If the internet is available, perhaps Linda should think about making Skype calls to the sister which Linda can take charg of when she visits the home, so they can all "chat" together and see each other?
Being brutally practical, what is the point of phoning someone with dementia on a daily basis?
I would second the idea of Skype. Are there any young carers or students at the home who might like this as a project? My mum also failed to equate the ringing of a phone with picking it up.

Another idea may be FaceTime on an IPad. Again free between iPad users.

Or less techs, could sister record a daily message and someone play it for mum on a daily basis? Hearing the voice may be sufficient without a daily conversation