AVOIDING THE TELEPHONE
Alex D asks:
"My mom lives alone and I love our phone conversations when I can’t visit but lately she hasn’t been answering or using the phone as often. She is in good health but you just never know what could happened and I get so anxious every time she doesn’t answer. Why is she avoiding the phone?"
The answer could be fairly simple. She could be having vision or hearing problems and not sharing them with you. Many people do not want to admit when they start losing vision and hearing, especially those that are independent. If the number buttons on the phone are too small, she might be getting agitated because she constantly hits the wrong number therefore avoiding the phone all together because it makes her feel incompetent.
There are lots of products out there made specifically for the elderly that can easily fix this problem. You can buy telephones with very large numbers that have a place for a person’s picture next to a speed dial button. That way she can just push the button next to your face when she wants to call you. These phones also ring longer and louder than usual, offering enough time to get to the phone. A similar product that can be helpful is a large clock with the date in large numbers attached. This avoids confusion or frustration when trying to make plans and provides convenience by putting the date and time all in one place. Also for those that misplace their glasses and hearing aids regularly, these products can be a big help.
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