My mum has reached the stage where forming coherent sentences is increasingly difficult, and I'm finding it really hard to hold a conversation with her, particularly over the phone (as I live a good 2 hours away from my parents, but try to phone regularly). I don't live a particularly exciting life, and I'm not good at making small talk at the best of times, so there are often awkward silences - last night Mum handed the phone back to my dad as she assumed the phone was broken. I try to engage her and get her talking about whatever she's been up to, but I find it almost impossible to do so without confusing her further - even a few weeks ago when Dad prompted me to ask about the books she'd bought while they were out earlier that day (I don't think she can read properly anymore, but she does still enjoy a nice picture, so childrens' books or books on art are very much appreciated) she got confused and asked me about the books I'd bought (I hadn't, but I made some up to save further confusion/embarrassment) Any advice? I feel like such a failure as a daughter, especially considering that my dad, nan, grandad, aunt, brother and even my husband all seem to be able to talk to her without too much awkwardness. I feel like there must be something wrong with me - even when I do have something to talk about, it all just tails off into silence as I realise she's hardly followed a word I've said. I know I can't expect her to remember much, but is there any way to get a proper two-way conversation going again? Or is that another thing I took for granted that is now lost forever?