My 84 yo aunt has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia and has terrible short-term memory loss coupled with severe depression which isn't controlled by meds (we're trying but haven't found the "magic pill" yet). Interestingly although she can't remember anything from her day, she can still have a very cognizant conversation about how she feels and what she can or cannot remember. She can knock out the NYTimes crossword puzzle in no time flat — if we can rouse her from her apathy. And there is the rub. She is so depressed all she talks about is wanting to die (she's not actually suicidal), life not worth living because she has dementia, etc.
I have been trying to call her daily, but I don't know how to structure the conversation — I can't ask her about her day because she doesn't remember any of it, and is just makes her depressed to be asked any question. Since I work at home all day I don't have any "news" for her. Should I give up on the daily phone calls? She doesn't really seem to be interested in them but I don't want her to feel abandoned.