Just the other day a very good friend of my mom called me worried that they have not seen mom in several days and she’s not answering her phone it just rings disconnected, and not answering her door either. I ensured her that I have been in touch with mom pretty much every other day and the days I wasn’t either my aunt Sue, or one of my two brothers were. I am unsure why her phone would be disconnected as I just called her the day prior. Mom has been in a funk lately to the point she is not awake 19-22 hours at a stretch then only sleeps for 3 or 4 hours, repeat or flip that around, she might sleep 19-22 hours then be awake on 3-4 hours, this is not normal. They do have her trying out a sleep medication, which from what I’ve been tracking from my calls and visits with her the sleep medication has only made things worse. I let Bev know that I will try to figure out whats happening and will call her back as soon as I know. Right after I hung up I went right into “Caregiver Mode” and started dialing moms and while waiting for the phone to pick up was also texting other brothers to see if either of them had spoken to her today. Sure enough, her phone is off and all I can do is wait for brothers to call back, for something like this there is no way their going to just text me and sure enough not five minutes later I’m getting calls from both of them.
Within fifteen minutes of getting Bev’s call I’m in the car heading up to moms which is about 15-20 minutes away depending on traffic. I get just about half way there and Bev calls again, “Richard, I called Nancy (moms next door neighbor) and she is over there now pounding on the walls of her “mobile” home and not getting an answer. Her cars there so we know she has to be there. As I arrive I see Bev waving as well as Nancy so I know someone must have reached her. Sure enough when I walk in moms says something to the effect of, “Why are you here? I was Just sleeping.” Yea, it is about 3:30-4pm on a weekend, that’s OK. What’s not OK is that first her phones disconnected. Secondly, people are not just knocking on her door but pounding on the doors and the wall and window that her headboard sits up against and no one can get her attention. Now to give you all the information, mom does have a hearing issue and wears hearing aids and still has an issue at times hearing even with them in. After talking with her for a while and being able to cool down from the worry about the, “What if?”
My brain shifts into, “Caregiver Mode 2.0,” I know she’s been depressed and that her sleep has been flip flopped so I wonder when did she last go grocery shopping? As she’s talking with Mark (Brother from the Bay) I open the fridge and am I ever shocked.
I have never seen her fridge this low and the freezer is just as bad. I immediately start going over in my head what I need to get her besides garbage bags from when I dumped the lightly overflowing garbage earlier. Milk, juice, eggs, cheese, fruit, veggies, soup, tomatoes, salmon, shrimp, bread, …… when I hear from behind, “I am going to the store tomorrow, get out of my fridge! Uh, I’m just getting a glass of water, which the container is sitting in the fridge “EMPTY.” After that I tell her that I am going to go and get her milk and garbage bags only for breakfast and the garbage can of course and that I will be back tomorrow around 1:30 pm to check in and see what’s up with the phone and of course to confirm she went to the store. Now its time for our good-byes and hugs, which we go through the standard two or three. I head toward the door and it never seems to fail, before I even make it to the door mom always throws out the, “Richard just one more thing, can you do, yada, yada, yada, or did you know or hear about, blah, blah, blah?” Is that just my mom or is that something that’s normal or maybe a part of her injuries for the stroke she had 6-7 years ago?
In the mean time I get home and go online and research, “Hearing Impaired Doorbells Loud.” There are quite a few to look at but I focus in on the, INNOVATIVE CONCEPT 300 meters, unit. Some of the features and functions I liked about the device is first, the description stated that it is used in hotels, businesses, construction sites, factories and more. The unit includes the doorbell button itself, (2) doorbell ac receptacles which provide both audible (4) varying levels with (52) tones as well as visual with a bright blue flashing light, each can be set up with a separate sound volume and tone (example: one in kitchen and one in bedroom) and it is very easy with the buttons on the side of the unit to adjust the volume or change the tone until you find one you like or that you can hear. Finally the unit provides an audible, visual and vibrating unit that can go under or next to your caree’s pillow or even on the nightstand or with clip provided, attach to your caree’s pants or belt. We tested it at home and it should wake her up as well as any dogs within a three home radius.
I am going to give it a week or two and will follow up with my final thoughts on this unit.
Out of the box, I’m going to rate the INNOVATIVE CONCEPT 300, “4 out of 5 crutches.”