Does this signal a new stage?

Boldredrosie

Registered User
Mar 13, 2012
244
Ma, 85 diagnosed mixed dementia in 2010 (but I think she's had this condition since the turn of the century at least) has just asked me 'how did I get here?'. She didn't recognise our house (we've been here 10 years) and had no idea 'why' she was here.

She has totally forgotten my Dad to whom she was married for 50 years and for whom she moved to England from overseas. I showed her pictures of him: "What? That old man?" He died in 2012.

She thought our house was a hospital. I thought, good grief, if any hospital looked like our house Panorama would be making an undercover programme about it!

She's been confused about where she is previously but this feels different. Anybody else recognise this sort of confusion? Can it be temporary or does it signal a new decline?
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Yes, I have come across similar later in the disease. Sadly I don't think this sort of thing is uncommon. Someone likened memory loss in dementia to shelves of books, the newest being at the top, and how those are gradually swept away, the top (newest) shelf first, and so on down.
So maybe your mum is living back in older memories, which might explain why she doesn't recognise your house, or 'that old man'. Maybe she would recognise your dad in an older photo? Maybe from when they were a lot younger?

There was an old lady in my mother's care home who was very obviously always back in some distant past, since she told me nearly every time I visited that her mum and dad and grandma and granddad were coming soon, and they were all going to the seaside together. She was always very happy in her old memories, which seemed to me one great blessing among the cruelties of dementia.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
My mum is 82 and thinks her house is the one she lived in as a child. She has forgotten 46 years in our family home. All the good memories and also the bad. This us a terrible disease. He only saving grace is she has no realisation of what she has forgotten. So sad. Lets pray that a preventive cure is found soon.