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I am trying to engage my mother in conversation over the phone as she is in another state. She doesn't remember recent visits from my sister, often saying that she hasn't seen them in months. I cant correct her as she is adamant. What are good online resources for conversation tips, questions tec?

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Thank you all for your great suggestions. Its just challenging and this is all such a new experience. She is mobile and always seems to be in an agitated state. SHe was very religious/spiritual but has lost all interest in it at one point saying ''what has God done for me?'' .....that was a shocker. anyway...........Great ideas here...THANK YOU!!!!
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Thank you all for your great suggestions. Its just challenging and this is all such a new experience. S
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Identifying photos and getting the stories behind them is a great idea--many families have boxes of old photos around--take advantage of the old memories that are still there.
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When you're asking the questions suggested in the posts, you can also jot them down to create a memory album for your mom. If you have photos add them as well. Go through them together when you visit.

Later it'll be a nice reminder album for you.
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Old times.. We listen to 1940's music on Spotify and it lists the artist and singer.. (Mom do you remember Bing Crosby he sure sang a lot of songs.. Did you ever see him in person?)

"What was the name of your school"? Ask about her parents, siblings.. Did she take family vacations? Or even day trips? Swimming in the summer? Ask her about foods she loved..

Ask anything about herself! They love to talk about themselves!!
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Jreddy131 great question !
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Card and gift shops have small albums for kids to make a family history of their grandparents. PIck up something inexpensive like this and fill it in as much as you can. My brother with Parkinson's was a musician, and had his favorite videos and records that he would watch or listen over and over. His caregiver would take him to church, and he would sometimes loudly comment on the music. Fortunately, she did not embarass easily!
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I can actually visit my mother, so all I do is say "Him how are you doing, what's new" and let her go. She talks about her friends, primarily, and I don't know any of them, so I am not expected to make "comments". I do listen with half an ear for worsening signs of dementia, outright lies, and, worse of all the bashing of the inlaws. THAT I will not put up with. She is completely immersed in herself and her won life, so "conversation" per se, doesn't happen. If I got stuck, I would ask her about somebody from the neighborhood I grew up in. That's always good for another 1/2 hr. I keep my visits short, but frequent.
My dad , on the other hand. Never wanted to talk. He loved the Nat'l Geographic channel and loved to have someone just sit with him and watch it. Daddy also frequently asked me to sing to him--there are songs I cannot sing anymore, due to the deep emotions of singing to him. Words were not necessary with us. Men and women are very different in their "needs". My hubby is not in bad health, but is severely depressed and won't treat it. He refers for me to watch TV wiht him (if he's in the mood) and be absolutely silent. When I am with women friends and my sisters, we talk and talk.
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The book "To Our Children's Children" by Bob Greene is a great resource. It has all kinds of questions that generate memories and conversations. Simply asking my mil and mom what was their favorite soup growing up generated lots of conversation and we learned some new family history.
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Singing and music stimulate the brain in different ways, than just speaking. Try humming a tune or singing hello to her. Something playful like that can bring a lighter brighter moment to her day. Also, I found it helpful to address her by her first name rather than just "Mother" all the time. My mother smiled at the kids song, "Good morning, good morning, and how do you do? Good morning, Good morning, I'm fine how are you?"
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Good ideas here! I don't have this problem yet, my mother doesn't stop talking (never has). As for resources online, how about searching "current events of the 1940s" or whatever set of years is appropriate, see all the things that were going on then, then ask her about them... you may learn a lot!
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+1 on both comments so far. Old times. Talk about cooking and baking. Ask how to make a favorite dessert, for example, apple pie. Make a list of items and just go down it. Same list can be used over and over from the way it sounds. "Do you remember your first day at school as a child?" The things ot ask are virtually endless.
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The questions you can ask and she will be able to understand will change over time. Here are some which might be useful.

- If she brings up a subject you can say something like "oh, tell me more about that" or "I know you like xxxxx, what is your favorite thing about it?"
- What was it like growing up?
- What songs did you like when you were younger?
- Tell me the story about when you and dad met (or some other positive event).

As the disease progresses there are fewer questions you can initiate. I often ask things such as "how are you feeling today?" or "what have you been up to lately?" I am not sure the answer to either one will be accurate but it gets my MIL talking and she seems to enjoy that.

At some point you may just need to get used to listening to words which do not make much sense. You are being present, however, whether on the phone or in person. The goal is not to do something that she will remember as that is mostly out of her control. The goal is to help her experience a positive moment in time.
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I find my mother (86) likes to talk about the good old days, even though she muddles up the facts. Don't correct her or tell her she is repeating herself. She'll probably tell your sister she hasn't heard from you! xx
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