Person with possible cognitive disabilities keeps calling me, may need help
February 3, 2011 8:50 AM   Subscribe

A person that possibly needs help keeps calling me asking for his parents, likely has cognitive disabilities.

Over the past two weeks, I've started to get calls from the same person. The person calling me was always muttering and I couldn't hear clearly what he was saying. It wasn't until two days ago when he called again that I could hear him asking to talk to his parents.

I tried explaining that he had the wrong phone number, and that I couldn't help him. I don't think he understood me though, because he kept asking for his parents.

I called the police to see if they could help and gave them his phone number (the phone number seems to be a wireless number, and googling it didn't help). They said they would call him, and suggested that if he called again that I try to get him to call 911 (so they could try to find his location).

Well, he just called me again, and I tried to explain again that this was the wrong phone number, and that I wanted him to call 911. I also tried to get his name and street address, but he didn't seem to understand me at all.

I'm at a loss as to how to help this individual. Does anyone else have good suggestions? I'll be calling the police again to see if they can help.
posted by jasonhong to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have had this happen with an elderly caller in the past. Same problems. (I'm assuming the number is not showing up on caller id?) Anyway, I called a local non-profit agency and explained the situation. They got in touch with the police and were better able to advocate.
posted by acoutu at 8:57 AM on February 3, 2011

This happened to me with an elderly woman with dementia who was trying to reach her daughter (who had my phone number before I did). Over time I was able to get her and her daughter's information and I contacted her daughter through the local police department. If you can get his name and the names of the people he's trying to reach, the police might be able to step in and handle this situation gently as my local police department did. Good luck.
posted by Maisie at 9:24 AM on February 3, 2011

Good luck. Perhaps you can get in touch with the cellphone company (I know here in Canada it's possible to do a reverse lookup on the number which will say "An unidentified number from Telephone Company"). They probably won't give you the info, but hopefully they can pass it on to the police. Or ask the police to call?
posted by backwards guitar at 10:30 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

The OP has the caller's phone number, and gave it to the police.
posted by pajamazon at 10:38 AM on February 3, 2011

Best answer: Along the lines of acoutu's suggestion to look for a non-profit agency that can help, if the area code is Pittsburgh (where your profile says you're located), you might try one of the organizations listed here.

If it's a cell number, you should be able to look up the provider here. Maybe with that information the police can be more helpful?
posted by slmorri at 2:28 PM on February 3, 2011

The thing is that the cellphone provider can give an address to the police, which the OP cannot do. If there is an emergency and this person needs help, the police knowing his address will be a useful start.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:17 PM on February 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, I'm going to contact the Department of Human Services, as well as pursuing the other ideas you all suggested. Very much appreciated, keep your fingers crossed.
posted by jasonhong at 7:59 PM on February 3, 2011

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