How to greet Mom to engage her?

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When Its my turn at Mom's and I greet her with with "Hi Mom, how are you today?", I either get NO reply or "you KNOW how I am so quit asking."

She's always been difficult and this has gone on and off for many years and has just gotten ridiculously worse since the dementia has been recognized. She's mad at the world more often than not and just will to engage. I get "will you just leave me alone and quit bugging me" a lot.

How have others coped with this? Sometimes I'll just sit and read or use my tablet. That just seems to make her angrier. She's in a 1 bedroom apartment so theirs really nowhere to retreat to and someone is there pretty much 24/7 to ensure her safety.

How else do you greet someone when they clearly do not want to engage? Welcome any and all suggestions.

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I'd keep trying with the medication. As her dementia progresses, her opinions and acceptance may change. It could really lift her mood.

I would also imagine she is rather bored. How far is she in her progression? Does she like to be alone or would an outing to a day center interest her?

Also, I'd try to get her outside. I know her walking is difficult, but I might try to see if she will try a wheelchair just for the purpose of going outside for a few minutes. It can make a big difference for some people, not for others. My cousin doesn't like the outdoors, never has and still doesn't. For some, it's a great thing.

And I know your hands are tied and that she's being ill, but I wouldn't read or use tablet while visiting her. That would annoy me greatly. Not unless you can show her photos of things she enjoys.

And, sometimes there is no way to make people happy. We just do the best we can.
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My husband's mom was like this. Accused him of "elder abuse" when he tried to talk to her about not smoking cigarettes, about how helpful antidepressant meds could be.

He walked away. She was making bad, life-limiting decisions and thre was not one d@mn thing he could do about it. Sometimes there is just no helping difficult people.
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Thank you all for your replies. She does love babies. Her great grandchildren are states away but her day is made on the rare occasion that they visit. Going out for a walk is out of the question. She barely shuffles from one room to the other with the aid of a walker. I'm going to try the photo thing. Some days it works, others not.

She's not on any ant-depressants and refuses to take any of that "junk".
She doesn't want to be "drugged". Has Ativan for anxiety but won't use it. Was using it to help her relax at night and sleep but something turned her off of that.

Got thrown into this so quickly and suddenly that my head is still spinning. Appreciate this forum. Still learning about this dreadful illness.
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I have found that dogs, babies, and folding laundry all work. I made Mom a memory book with print-outs of her favorite people and places. When out on walks or drives I would pick flowers, leaves, etc and usually she would engage in family gossip.
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Is she on any anti anxiety or antidepressant meds? Sometimes these can make a difference.
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Again, a freakishly timed question for me. I was just talking to my brother about this last night. Brother called, disturbed because earlier he had visited mom and not gotten a single word out of her during his hour long visit. I had to tell him - and say here - that often pretty much is the same thing that happens to me. I can ask mom an easy, simply phrased question - often "How are you feeling today?" and get nothing - and then a whole lot more of nothing. So I'll say "guess your not up for a visit today" and begin to leave. Then mom will say something - protesting my leaving, I'll sit back down - and then more silence. Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if I should stop visiting for a couple of weeks. Anyhoo - I'll be watching the replies you get Weary, good question but one I sure can't answer.
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Maybe engage her with questions....can you bring out her old photo album and ask about who the people are in the photos? (Hi Mom! Brought this old photo book...thought you could help me label pictures today!) Or maybe get her involved with a project? I bought a "Mom remembers" book (Amazon has a ton of these types) which is set up to help you write your memories down...My mom enjoyed hers - I'm currently working on one with Dad (he doesn't like to write, so he dictates his responses). I've also found that watching a streamed movie together, like a Charlie Chaplain film spurs conversation afterward - I've even served popcorn for Pop during the flick. Mom liked to play Scrabble and work crossword puzzles,,,so my sister & I could often get her steered into an activity like that.

It's hard, I know. My mom's favorite subject was how unhappy and unwell she felt... I used to call it "rattling the keys in front of the baby" to distract her.
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