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Can someone explain this change in Mum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,578
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Is now referring to Dad as "they"
    Eg "They keep telling me its Saturday"

    Also refers to Dad a lot by his first name David when talking to me rather than saying to me " your Dad"

    Yesterday, with it being Saturday, she has an Alzhimers group to go to on Monday, and asked me if she had to sleep at Davids house tonight and tomorrow and then it will be Monday?
    Later that night she said the same to my husband, but jokingly he said, " well not unless you want to sleep here" but then Mum said No at my house. ( correct in that instance)

    Is this just confusion over language, or a possibility that Mum is losing grip on her relationship to Dad, and to me, and recognising her house as hers too?
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,855
    Female
    Scotland
    Linbrusco I can only tell you that the only way my husband knows he's in the right place is if I am there. He walks past our house daily and could not find his way there or direct anyone to his home.

    It is all very strange and I never get used to it though I accept his difficulty. Strangest of all is that he chose this house five years ago and persuaded me to buy it as it was near to where he grew up and where his sister lived. How can it change so quickly? I dont know either.
     
  3. PollyP

    PollyP Registered User

    Nov 1, 2013
    21
    Berkshire
    In my experience (my mother has dementia), this is part of the progression of the disease. To begin with, Mum was just confused over time, but she's gradually losing more and more of her grip on reality. She often asks when she's going home, even though she's in the house she's lived in since 1959. 'Home' to her is her childhood home, which her family were bombed out of in WW2. And she doesn't recognise anyone except my brother and myself, and even then she often thinks we're someone else. She doesn't know how many people live in the house, and can't imagine her bedroom when we are downstairs, so worries about where she's going to sleep. We end up explaining the same things over and over. But we learn from experience the response which helps the most, e.g. "You've got a lovely comfortable bed waiting for you" works well.

    It sounds like you could be going down the same kind of path. Wishing you all the best.
     
  4. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    My aunt started correcting me a few weeks ago when I was talking about my mother, by telling me that I'm not her son, but rather her brother (despite the 36-year age gap and the fact that she has never had a brother).

    From then on, she always corrects us whenever we make the 'mistake' of thinking we're mother and son.

    It's all too common with dementia, but really I find the best way to deal with it is just to go along with it.
     
  5. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    1,807
    Ireland
    Yes I agree. I go along with things too. I try to explain this to family member and I might as well be talking to the moon!!

    Aisling ( Ireland)
     
  6. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    244
    I wonder if it's something to do with the stripping back of memory as the disease progresses. My dad died nearly four years ago, mum and he had been married 50 years but despite there being photos of him all over the house she now barely remembers him and points out him out to visitors as her dad.

    For my mum family is now her parents (dead many years) and her siblings. She's no real idea where home is and to me it feels like her whole married life has slipped or is slipping away (hoorah! says my miserable teen who adds that if we don't count as family we no longer have to look after her :()
     
  7. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    I'm sure that's part of it.

    Even though my mum and aunt hasn't got a brother, my aunt probably looks at me and seeing someone who clearly isn't recognisable as her nephew (as I looked 30-40 years ago) she can only assume I'm her brother. Perhaps later she will think I'm her father.
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,536
    Female
    South coast
    Mum is forgetting her family.
    On her birthday I took a cake and some prosecco for a small party in her CH and my brother and her grandchildren (with spouses) all joined in the celebration. While the remains of the cake was still on the table mum observed that no-one in her family ever came to visit her and it wouldnt kill them to do so every now and then. It turned out that the family she was thinking of were her parents and siblings (all dead many years ago) and she had no idea that the people who had celebrated her birthday with her were her family. She had no idea that she even had a son and daughter - let alone that we were them.
     
  9. Mooo

    Mooo Registered User

    Jul 30, 2015
    16
    Manchester
    Wow that's harsh! Sorry to go a little off topic, but does said teen understand dementia?
     
  10. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,180
    Female
    Chester

    To me with a 14 year old daughter sounded like a typical teen - my daughter does understand dementia but anything that means their every whim is not catered for can cause ructions - although she has refrained from grandma so far (paying attention to brother, OH or myself when she wants something)
     
  11. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,084
    Brazil
    My mother used to think I was her aunt or her mother. So I was a familiar face.
     

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