How can I respond in a way that satisfies her? Mom has lived with me for 16 years. I brought her here because she was close to drinking herself to death. No drinking allowed. She improved for a few years, then developed dementia. She spends her evenings watching TV with me (This is her choice) then talks and asks questions non-stop. She talks in a tiny baby voice that can barely be heard (Yes, I got my hearing checked -- no problems) She rarely finishes a sentence, but becomes enraged that I don't respond the way she wants me to. For example, she'll say "I need you to help me. Will you ...." If I try to get her to finish her sentence, she's furious. If I guess what she wants, I'm wrong and she's furious. If I ask her to repeat herself, she's furious. I"m more than willing to help her and to listen to her, but I have no idea what she wants and can't satisfy her. Can anyone give me specific suggestions on what to say?
You can try a few things, bearing in mind that trying to pin down her request makes her upset.
Create a list of things she normally would need - blanket if she's cold, water, etc.
Add pictures - they might be more easily recognized than words. She can point to what she wants. If it's not on the list though, that won't help.
Over days and weeks, list the things that she does need help with, based on your observation. You can gradually add those to the "help" list.
This is a hard situation. With dementia, her brain isn't able to completely process the requests, and you have to literally play a guessing game. When she does become angry, politely but firmly tell her that you're trying to help but it's not appropriate to direct anger toward you since you can't know what she needs - it's not your fault.
Not good suggestions, but this isn't an easily remedied situation. Sorry.
Meds for agitation might help as well.