1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Juliem61

    Juliem61 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2015
    My dad is in hospital at the moment and will probably be going into a care home from there.

    Dad hasn't shown any signs of recognition towards me, my husband or my sister since he went into hospital, although he does remember and identify his partner and her family.

    His recognition of us was a bit shaky sometimes before hospital but now there is nothing, not even a sense of familiarity.

    The only time he shows recognition is on the telephone when he knows me as a child of around ten or eleven (I'm 50 now but that is the age I was when my parents divorced) I need some advice on whether I should constantly remind him of who I am, even though he doesn't believe it when he's told, or, act like a complete stranger and be constantly concerned that he is going to recognise me and be confused and upset by me being so distant.

    It causes me so much stress. There are all sorts of other feelings associated with divorce and a fairly domineering father but, I can handle the fact that he doesn't recognise me as his daughter but I am at a loss as to the best way, for him, I should deal with it.
  2. lesley1958

    lesley1958 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2015
    This is really tough for you.

    My dad increasingly does not know me as his daughter but because I smile at him and laugh with him, he knows at these times that I am someone that he likes and whose company he finds agreeable and in which he is comfotable - and comforted. I do say "i'm Lesley, your daughter" sometimes but only as it were in passing - I don't labour the point. I try to make the fact that he is comfortable with me around enough for both of us, whoever he thinks I am.

    It's not great but nothing about this vile disease is.

    Hope you find a way forward too xxx
  3. sarahjg

    sarahjg Registered User

    Apr 15, 2015
    Hi Julie- really feel for you.. this disease throws us all sorts of stuff. My dad doesn't recognise me now as his daughter- but is usually pleased to see me.. today he said 'you're nice'...! At other times his reaction to me is the same as if I was one of the carers in his nursing home. This has been really difficult for me but as Lesley said just stick with it. One of the carers told him that I was his daughter last week and he found this quite confusing.. I really believe that at some level he knows who I am he just can't process it all. Take care xx
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum doesnt know who I am any more - she often thinks that I am her mother, but she knows that she knows me IYSWIM, she just cant work it out.
    If she asks me who I am then I will tell her that I am her daughter, canary - very matter of fact, but I dont say unless she asks.
  5. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    My Dad didn't know who I was but at the same time he started to recognise that I was a friendly being in his world and would smile and be happy to see me. He tended to sort of put other people onto me, I was never sure who he thought I was, some sort of female kindred spirit but certainly not his daughter or anyone I knew he knew.

    I didn't have a particularly good relationship with my Dad but ai just would prompt him to talk and I would just try to be whoever he wanted me to be. In some ways he was no longer him so It didn't matter if I wasn't me, either. I just carried on going in and visiting him, taking him treats and trying to make sure he was as comfortable as i could. He seemed grateful for that.

    What is harder is when the person goes kind of glazed and has no sense of who anyone is. My mother is like that when she is sundowning, absolutely no one can get through to her at all then. Then when she is more on a plateau, she chats away to me, knowing we are related and I am my sister/her mother/her aunt/her sister and very rarely myself.:D
  6. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    North East
    My mum didn't know who I was for 14 months before she died. At first I used to get frustrated and upset but then learned to live with it. She was always pleased to see me and recognised me as a happy smiling face. It's tough though. Xx
  7. Babymare01

    Babymare01 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2015
    Hello Julie - Its an awful stage isn't it. Its so hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been affected by this evil illness how it feels when a much loved parent, someone who has loved you, and you have loved them all your life, no longer recognises you. My mother has slowly progressed to this and now, when she does open her eyes, her eyes are blank at me and it hurts. But I sit and say its Carol, your daughter, to her often as I talk to her and stroke her arm. Its not so much reminding her, I no longer think I could remind her, but just to let her hear my voice as I think that is something that triggers a little tiny switch in her somewhere in her mind. What you have to hold in your heart it isn't the person its the evilness of this illness and in your fathers heart he really does love you and nothing will change that. Im sorry that I have no good advice but hun - so easy to say but so hard to do I know - try not to stress over it xx

    Finally just a )))hug((( xxxxxxx
  8. granma

    granma Registered User

    Apr 15, 2014
    I have dementia

    As a person of 65 with dementia all I can say is that your father is the person who gave you life and I am sure that if he could he would tell you how much he loves you, just be happy when you see him, make him laugh, sing and smile and you too will find pleasure in that and always LOVE. :)

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