Before Dementia, before cell phones, Mama understood the concept of answering machines... almost. She would call & go on as though she was actually talking to me... sighing, cursing, asking questions, pausing. Fast forward to now when she has the nurses station call me on my cell phone. They call my cell & my prerecorded message comes on if I am not able to answer.
The consistent message that she leaves is: "Hello, hello, HELLLLOOOOOOO. Nurse, nurse, something is wrong with this phone. No one is answering, can you dial him again?" A few minutes later another message: "Hello, hello, HELLLLOOOOOOO. Oh damn it, no one is there, this phone is not working. They have the wrong number! No one knows what they are doing here. Hello, nurse - I don't know what's wrong. No one is answering, can you hang this phone up for me please? Helllllooooo Nurse, can you hang this phone up? Thank you. Ohhh, mother of God!"
When I visit her later that day, I go over the basic mechanics of the cell phone (again) & compare it to an answering machine. I let her hear my prerecorded voice & tell her when you hear this, you leave your message & not scream... "Hello, hello, HELLLLOOO." My prerecorded message ends with "please select your options." She says "I HAVE NO OPTIONS."
We look at each other & start laughing.