Daddy lives about 700 miles from me. I talk to him every night. I believe he is in stage 6e. He likes to hear me talk to him, which I'm usually good at spinning a yarn for him about my day. I'm currently a substitute teacher. I tell him about my students and what they did that day "just introduced the kids to the concept of velocity, or imagery in poetry, or WWI. What ever I did that day. Recently Daddy has been having a real hard time following this. "When did WWII end?" or Why aren't you working full time in the factory? then he gets upset. I know this is typical of an Alzheimers person, but when I talk about the weather or what is blooming, he gets just as upset because it's not the weather he has where he lives or the weather he thinks he is having (from watching the weather channel). When I try to follow his lead in conversation, things get quiet right fast. I can't ask him what he did today, cause he doesn't know. Any suggestions?

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Everyone is different, but, I might try a few things and see what might work. It may be that nothing is going to go over too well at this stage. Back when, my LO was able to talk, I normally tried to keep things vague. She was vague and that's because she didn't know what else to say. So, she would say, that thing is still there. I wouldn't ask what thing, because she wouldn't know, so, I'd say, well, I wonder how long it will be there. Do you like it there? If she said yes, I'd say great. I bet it will stay. I'll take care of it. And, if she didn't want it to stay, I'd tell her that it would be taken care of. Not to worry. I stayed upbeat and tried to go along with anything she said. That's all I can offer.

You might talk to the facility staff. IF he is generally anxious or agitated, it could be part of why he's disagreeable. Maybe, you could speak with his doctor about it.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

When I visited my mother in Memory Care, I did let her take the lead. 99% of the time we talked about the past. For a while, her memories of her past life were very clear and I found them fascinating. Then, when her dementia progressed she started telling me how she had been a famous stage actress in New York and I had been her co-star. A red jacket of hers was a beautiful satin cape and her room in Cleveland was actually an apartment in Chicago. I played along. Her past, whether real or imagined, was her safe zone. Can you try this with your dad? Just “humor” him,so to speak. Go along with whatever world he happens to be in.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

I think you said it, let him lead the conversation as much as possible. His mind is probably a bit ADD like and a bit toddler like with the experience of someone who lived through WW2 so try to keep that in mind as he quickly gets distracted from or frustrated with the topic and wants to change it. Try to keep in mind that he may be talking about his mother your mother and your sister all in the same conversation as the same person or 3 different "homes" all as home in the same conversation. He may be aware that you are 700 miles away one minute and think you are in the same town the next, difference in weather could be a tough concept I imagine. So maybe start with a question he can answer like what's the weather like there or start telling him about your day and when he chimes in with a question or statement take that q and go down that path, "when did WW2 end?" "I think it was 1945 wasn't it?" or when he asks about the factory tell him why, if you worked in a factory of course, if it wasn't you decide do you play the brother he's taking to or do you say "you mean Uncle Will? Did he start at the ice cream factory during the war?" or something that lets Dad talk about that time and place he is in, live his memories. Or just distract with that line of conversation, "Oh the factory, remember when (some factory story, yours or whoever he's thinking about)…" and let him go down memory lane. "I was thinking about that today too dad, what was that managers name everyone liked so much"?

Just keep in mind that he may not be able to finish a topic or thought and trying to make him do that even without realizing it might be frustrating to him because it reminds him he can't remember, when my mom looses her train of thought or can't find the word r memory she wants (she has aphasia) we just laugh it off, "that's ok it will come to you", is there anything you need or anything you want me to talk about tomorrow? No doubt just hearing your voice and even just sitting in silence knowing your on the other end of the phone with him is often calming. Try taking your cues from him even if the conversation or lack there of doesn't make sense to you. Whole conversations isn't what's important here, for either of you, conversing each day, having that regular schedule and contact with each other that each of you can count on is what's important. You are doing on the phone what you would be doing in person if you were physically close enough and it is no less important and beneficial. Your time together doesn't have to be filled with words, just love and you are obviously full of and sharing that. He is very lucky.
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Reply to Lymie61

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