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Registered User
Jun 3, 2013
Can anyone help me understand how my husband can wake me at 3 in the morning totally confused, not knowing where he is or who I am, yet a few hours later after showering can be almost "normal". Also, can someone advise me how to react when he doesnt know who I am, should I insist that I am his wife etc or just go along with whoever he thinks I am.


Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
The confussion during the night might be because he is disorientated on waking and it being dark. Once normal morning routine is underway then your husband's head is clearer.

When my husband first stopped recognising me I did tell him I was his wife and in seconds I was his wife again. When after being told it was not registering I would leave the room and return with a cheery hello and an offer of tea and nine times out of 10 I was back again.

When going out and coming back in stopped working he asked where his wife was so I just said shopping, at the hairdressers or work. I assured him she would not be long and then distract him by saying shall we prepare tea for when Jay would be back or anything else that would distract. Again worked most of the time but not all the time.

You will find what works best for you but the forgetting altogether does not happen to everyone so you may never face this.

Jay x


Registered User
Apr 12, 2014
Hi Practice,

Sorry you are going through such stress and upset. The "how" of how this can happen can be very baffling indeed. Dementia effects the brain in many mysterious ways. It doesn't follow one singular and straight path.

What you describe, however, is not that unusual. People who have Dementia can have very shaky moments and later in the day find some stability. Some states of mind are transient and will come and go.

I am sure others will be along with a better description and maybe even some helpful links to videos and such. I know I've found much comfort in just better understanding how Dementia can work.

As for when he doesn't recognize you. This is always one of the most upsetting and shocking times in a loved-one's life. Both for you and for them. I think you will find that it generally is not helpful to argue with the person suffering from Dementia. Since things seem VERY real to them, it can only upset and agitate them further to have someone trying to punch holes in their very real "reality".

Others will come along soon to tell you what they have done in your situation. In ours, we don't question. Dad, just last week, was very upset because he KNEW there was a news crew coming to his room at the care home and he just wasn't up to being filmed. We told him it would be OK and we would go speak to them straight-away to ensure they didn't bother him.

Wishing you peace,


Registered User
May 23, 2014
I think when your loved one appears not to recognise you must be one of the hardest aspects of dementia to come to terms with. I found it extremely hard at first but realised that my husband couldn't help it so just "went with the flow" on a daily basis. Easier on the nerves than trying to make him understand something his mind cannot encompass at the moment in time.