My mom has early dementia and we cannot seem to talk over the phone without my angering her. Yesterday is a good example. I called to check in and she began to tell me that the Meals On Wheels Program (delivers meals to homebound, elderly once a day) is awful. That the food has expiration dates that are 3 days overdue.
Not thinking clearly (I realize this now) and trying to find a reason as to why this would be so, I said to her "well, it might be possible that these were stamped before the food was put in them. I know ... very stupid on my part. But, I was honestly trying to figure it out. She started screaming at me that I always try to make trouble and that I always want to be right. Then she said "the food is horrible and I feel sorry for people who have to eat it". To this, I said, call my brother (he is the one who got her on the program), and tell him to cancel it, then. Again, she got very angry and said to me, what makes you think I cannot do it? Why do you always tell me to call him to do things? So I told her I was sorry. Then she said, I don't want to talk about this anymore and she hung up.
I am always left thinking "did I say something to upset her"? Or is it that she has the very early dementia? After all, I am stressed out and frustrated and it could be me.
She was never an angry person all her life and her disposition has changed so much. The thing is I can't distinguish between her being grouchy over being ill (also has serious heart disease which has her homebound and in bed a lot of the time and not feeling well at all) OR my ways setting her off.
How do I NOT set her off in the first place? I really feel like I don't want to talk to her anymore and getting tired of being yelled at and having the phone slammed on me.