Caring For An Elderly Parent: Ring, Ring – Where’s My Cell Phone?

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I‘ve heard that elderly people misplace things, and now I’m seeing first hand what that’s like. I’m guessing the cell phone is an easy target for loss since it’s one of those items you like to have with you all the time – it makes sense that you’d leave it behind somewhere.

Lately, Mom has been misplacing her cell phone a lot. She’ll call me from her home phone (which she never uses and I can’t believe she knows how to work) freaking out about not being able to find her cell phone. So I’ll call her cell phone from my phone hoping she’ll hear it and know where it is, but unfortunately Mom can’t hear it. That usually means I have to actually go over to her place and call her cell phone from there.

The other day I did just that. I walked in her back door and dialed her cell phone. I could hear it ringing right away but Mom could not. With Mom following me, I headed down the hall toward her bedroom pushing the redial button on my phone so her cell phone would keep ringing. Still, Mom couldn’t hear it. When we arrived at her bedroom door her cell phone was ringing away beside her bed; still, Mom couldn’t hear it. I pointed in the direction of her bed and let her know it was there and finally she heard it ringing.

Mom was so surprised to find her cell phone there because she said she had just looked there moments ago and it wasn’t there. I could tell that she was confused about losing the phone but she never wants to admit that she, herself, could be “losing it” (if you know what I mean).

Usually when Mom gets like that she finds some way of blaming me, and this situation was no different. We were sitting in her living room talking about her cell phone being lost and she asked me if I put it in her bedroom. Huh? Why would I do that?, I asked. She said I probably put it there for a joke. A joke? That’s not funny, I told her. I wouldn’t do that. I’m not so sure she believed me.

So after a few times of going over to Mom’s to help her find her cell phone, I decided to tell her that she could find her cell phone herself by using her home phone to call it. She looked at me with a dazed look and tole me she didn’t know her cell phone number. Well that probably makes sense since she never calls herself. So I wrote her cell number down on a piece of paper and stuck if by her chair in the living room and explained to her how to do it.

Now I’m wondering if I’ve created less of a problem or more of a problem…. time will tell!

What I Learned: Denial seems to part of the ageing process – at least in my mom’s situation. 

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