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I'm COMPLETELY new to Stack Exchange (I created my account about ten minutes ago) so I apologize if this is the wrong [folder? group? forum?] to ask this. I'm also posting the same question in the Android community. Thanks for ANY suggestions, including any better places to post this.

Back story: My father has moderately advanced Alzheimer's. He has a cellphone (smartphone) which was primarily intended to give my mother a way to touch base with him on the rare occasions she has to go somewhere and he can't come with her (i.e. doctor's appointments, etc). Back when he was still driving (against my objections) I also installed an app that tracks the phone after he got lost a few times or went out without telling anyone where he was going.

The problem is that he obsessively turns the phone off (completely powered down). No matter how many times we tell him/put sticky notes on the phone/write "NO" in Sharpie on the side/put tape over it/etc. He carries it around with him all the time, but will never leave it on.

I know that for a full answer I'd need to have the make/model of the phone, which I'm working on getting and will update this post as soon as I do. But for now:

Is it ever possible to disable the power button or prevent it from actually turning off the phone? Alternatively, is there an app or anything that would allow us to turn it on remotely, or any (affordable) phone that has a more complicated power-down system or an option to disable it? As a last resort, would anyone like to rush out to put a patent on a no-power-down phone and I'll be happy to be your beta tester? I'm kind of surprised this isn't something already on the market, as many Alzheimer's caregivers who report similar problems, but I've googled for hours and haven't been able to find one.

Or if anyone can share something they did accidentally that broke their power button, I'll be happy to try to replicate it...

I've called several cell phone repair/service shops and gotten answers ranging from "No, it's impossible on any phone" to "Sure, all you have to do is set a password, then he can't turn off the phone without the password" (which I tested out on my phone and it didn't make a difference, but will also test on his the next time I see them). I can't tell which ones just don't want to be bothered/want to get me in in hopes of an upsell/feel like it'd be a CS issue later on/etc.

Thanks in advance.

  • If you want to totally disable the power button the fanatical enthusiast way. You could take the phone apart and remove the the sticker like stuff to remove rhe contact point. However, that would permanently diaablw the power but ans probably too extreeme. – Bo Lawson Sep 6 at 0:34
  • In my opinion the best option to "disable" the power button is by using a smartphone case that is so thick that pressing the power button is really complicated. – Robert Sep 6 at 10:05
  • Thanks, Robert & Bo. (I don't know how to upvote your answers, if that's a thing here.) I'm sorry it took me so long to update this but I didn't get a chance to see what the phone model was until recently. He has a case with buttons on that I was able to pop out; we hoped he would just leave it alone, but he freaked ALL the way out, told us we were trying to kill him etc etc etc. We will be speaking with an attorney/doctor/Alz specialist in the near future now that my mom finally sees how bad the situation is. Thanks so much to anyone who read this, and esp. you two for replying!! – Elayne M Sep 9 at 18:32

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