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Alzheimer's Switchboard Service

Sends all unwanted calls to Alzheimer's Patients
  [vote for,

Now before anyone gets on their moral high horse about cruelty, callousness, etc, let me just say that my grandmother died of Alzheimer's disease. It sucked. I watched a venerable, kind, intellectually sharp woman transform into a frail, foul-mouthed non-person over the course of seven years. Anyone who has had the misfortune of losing a loved one to this most nefarious condition knows that you take the humor wherever you can. Especially when the phone rings. Listening to senile people talking on the phone is the silver lining. I say we put this unsung workforce to some good use -

We set up a network of telephones located in nursing homes and assisted living centers that cater to Alzheimer's and other forms of senile dementia. Basically a phone switching service, it allows you to send all unwanted calls to this network. Best of all, it records the ensuing conversations and sends it to your voice mail box. The funniest/tragic messages could be uploaded to an online repository and shared.

Unknown Number? Private caller? Here, talk to Grandma. If you're lucky, she won't tell you to go fuck yourself like she does when we try to change her diaper...

tourist, May 05 2006


       Disclaimer: My father has mid-stage Alzheimers, and has had a severe stroke last fall. He is in a nursing home.   

       Second disclaimer: I receive lots of annoying/unwanted phone calls at my job.   

       This idea is fantastic. Let the people who think they should get to go straight to the front of the line or top of the pile get circulated through through the Az network for a little while. Alzheimers patients could take a butt-chewing from a customer for 20-30 minutes, then 3 minutes later they've forgotten all about it and they're ready for the next caller. I see this as an excellent way to handle complainey customers and those making unreasonable demands.   

       Then there's the entertainment value. The icing on this bun is for the taping of the calls and the online repository.   

       One thing you didn't mention is that the patients would be helping to cover the cost of their care.
Noexit, May 05 2006

       + sad story, but great idea.
xandram, May 05 2006

       Forgive me for sounding quite sanctimonious; particularly given that I haven't lost anyone to dementia. I just can't see past the sadness of the disease itself.   

       I dunno. I can see the potential here, but to use alzheimers patients seems a bit cruel. Are there any other people groups that might be able to give informed consent?   

       I wouldn't mind joining a service, perhaps via Skype or something so it doesn't cost me, which would let me randomly pick up junk phone calls other people had rejected. The potential is almost limitless...
david_scothern, May 05 2006

       It's really nice of [d_s] and [bs] to offer services here, but I'm thinking that [tourist] has found a bit of "relief" in creating this idea, just for the fact of the painful reality some loved one had to endure. To be sure that the entire family endured this for 7 years, one must somehow get past the sadness of this reality.
xandram, May 08 2006

       no problem [bs] I was just trying to see it from another perspective. Truly, it's a delicate subject.
xandram, May 08 2006

       Most people have a deep need to be needed. Alzheimer's victims may be in the most difficult position of any.   

       This is a humane solution to their peculiar problem. It turns weakness into strength. And - by definition - it's a very elegant solution.   

       Thumbs up.
Xoebe, May 08 2006

       Alzheimers patients don't get their diagnosis and completely lose their minds all in one day. You'd almost certainly need to have someone in the earlier stages of the disease to work this service. Plenty of mental faculties to give consent, but just enough lost to make it inconvenient for the caller.   

       Alzheimers patients can handle simple, menial tasks quite well for quite a while, perfect for this job.
Noexit, May 09 2006


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