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Does Mum really have dementia??


Registered User
May 25, 2012
HI, I'm new to this, so go easy on me...

Mum was diagnosed a couple of years ago, Dad is her main carer. I live about 2 hours drive away so can't be there all the time, but we encourage them to come to us as much as COVID allows... Mum will tell anyone who will listen (and those who don't) that she has a 'funny head'. If we go out for a meal, shops, coffee shop, a walk; anywhere.

Is it normal for someone with dementia to be so aware of it?

Is it terrible of me to be suspicious of her? I know from past experience that she lies. Is she simply enjoying the attention?

Recently I was at their home & was asking her about what she can/cannot do; she gave me a fairly comprehensive list of tasks she is unable to complete & why... I was of the belief that alzheimers sufferers were mostly oblivious to their problems, she is completely aware & apparently revelling in it. Meanwhile Dad is running after her like a slave (with a heart condition) & won't hear a bad word said.

I'm SO confused. I don't want to believe Mum is taking the mick, but is it possible ??


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
@lizzieloo I am never confident that I know everything about dementia but I do know that my husband who had Alzheimer’s could not have pinpointed what the problem was. Certainly not making a list. His odd behaviour seemed perfectly logical to him in the moment. I remember him being brought home by the police and being very relaxed about it as if they were a taxi service. So perhaps you could suggest quietly to your Dad he steps back a bit and get some help in if needed.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2021

Do you think she's lying about being diagnosed? Or do you think she's hoodwinked the doctor? Either would seem very unlikely.

There is a forum on here called "I have dementia". You can read what some people with dementia have to say for themselves.

I only have experience of two relatives with dementia but what I do know that each PWD (person with dementia) is different.


Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
I think it would be very unlikely for anyone to pretend that they have dementia. I can't think what they would gain from it. Dementia itself is a very strange thing and everyone is different.

We have a friend who was recently diagnosed with alzhiemers and he is very aware of it. I wish he wasn't as it has made him very depressed. My own dad was blissfully unaware which was good for him but not so good for me.


Registered User
May 5, 2019
Hello @lizzyloo . I have Alzheimers, am aware of it and still have insight. As a retired medic I was aware of my symptoms well before anyone else. I too let people know I have Alzheimers as I will not tolerate an elephant in the room.

It may help you to read 'A tattoo on my brain: A neurologists personal battle against Alzheimers disease.' There are also several Alzheimers ambassadors capable of touring and giving lectures. I personally know an 'expert patient' with Alzheimers who attends training sessions with medical students.

I am also aware of things I can no longer do (I have a ****itbucket but also a bucketlist which I am working through gradually. I raised monies for Alzheimers research with a marathon. So we are not all alike and some of us kick the perceptions of others into touch.

My brain scan is irrefutable evidence of my condition. I am sure your mother will have had one too. Ask for a copy of the result.

You will, I am sure, gain a lot from these forums. As a carer you have a rocky road ahead and I wish you well.

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New member
Oct 13, 2021
My mum is aware at times that things aren't as they should be. During those times she watches and monitors herself as she is fearful of appearing strange. However when she is acting strangely she has no idea. Her awareness just comes and goes.


Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
When dad's Alzheimers was mild he was aware that he was confused and actually said "what's wrong with my head?" just like your mum seems to be doing. Also be aware of host mode as dad was good at this as well leaving me to tell everyone what was really happening.

Stepping back is a good idea as long as there is someone to look out for her and I also think you need to consider getting carers in.



New member
Jul 7, 2020
My mum flip flops with her attitude towards whether she thinks she has dementia or not, and also flip flops over whether symptoms such as hearing things are part of her dementia or not.

When she's in a fluster with memory issues, she says it's her "head thing". With memory, she'll be okay to put that down to her "head thing". Her delusions and the things she's hearing in her head is a different matter. I let her vent about the neighbour's loud music and go on about how the volume when I'm in the same room as her and it's totally quiet. In the past if I'd told her it was her "head thing", she'd argue about it and say I'm "covering up" for the neighbours. Other times, she'll accept that voices and music are part of her dementia. Today, on speakerphone to the GP, the doctor asked if she'd been hearing things that aren't there during the past week. She had, and my mum nodded in an exaggerated way as if to say, "oh dear, yup that was my head thing", and was fine when I explained some of the things she'd been hearing to the doctor. Less than an hour later, she complained the neighbours were playing "Danny Boy" on repeat and there was no point telling her it was her dementia.

I don't understand why she'll put the sounds down to her condition to the professionals, yet I can't open my mouth and tell her it's in her head without getting my own head bitten off. I'm past trying to figure out what's going on there.