How do I respond to my mums confusion?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bobski, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Bobski

    Bobski Registered User

    Sep 15, 2015
    My mother was diagnosed with Alzheima this August. I knew there was something wrong a year ago, but just buried my head in the sand and put it down to old age.

    She is my best friend, it hurts me to see my pal change and become so dependent on me and lose all her self confidence as she has always been an indepedent woman and a fighter.
    How should I respond when my mother doesnt recognise me as her son, she talks about me as if I were another person. I try and leave her and try and encourage her to be independent but she gets scared being left on her own at night.She also talks about a woman that cares for her, but there is only me. Should I try and discuss this with her and correct her?
    I am finding it all very difficult and scarey, as I am sure that my mother is going through the same emotions.
    Can anyone advise me or suggest any ways as to how i can deal with this .
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    #2 Beate, Sep 15, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  3. Ballykeith

    Ballykeith Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    I sympathise as I've gone through the same with my mum. The link mentioned by Beate is all good advice. My mum too was a strong and independent woman but AD has eaten away at her capability. We were good friends for a long spell as adults but now she is wholly dependent on me so our relationship is very different. She has now got to the stage where she will constantly ask me questions as to what to do next as she has lost the ability to direct her own activity. She mostly does know that I'm her son but will sometimes forget. It really is just the case of accepting changed circumstances, as regrettable as they are. On a practical level, do see that you bring in support for yourself and mum. Once my mum lost the wherewithal of washing and dressing in the morning I realised that I needed to bring in a carer to see that she does wash/dress/breakfast/take medication every morning. I arranged this through my local council's social service department. I've been caring for my mum for 70 hours a week for two years now and it's taken its toll on me. I'd say that before you get anywhere near this stage, keep in touch with the social services and arrange a carers' assessment with them for yourself so that you don't end up overdoing it.
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Bobski, welcome to TP
    The trick (I think) is you have to live in their world and it's not worth trying to bring them back into yours (also known as reality).
    In any of our heads the world is as we see it and to her if you don't join in you'll always be in the wrong, correcting only leads to conflict and that's never a good thing.
    My late mother lived with me for here last few years and it's hard when she thought I was a member of staff and asked me if I had children and if my mother was still alive.
    Now I'm doing it second time around with my wife having AZ it's no easier, currently she's having a right old laugh with her reflection in the mirror in the kitchen, apparently her reflection is a bloke called John, weird, yes, but how would correcting her help.
    In short you deal with it by accepting it, it's her reality, join in and share.
  5. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    Hi Bobski

    Glad you made it on to the TP Forum. It is so sad to see our loved ones get lost in this disease and to find that we have to enter a kind of Alice in Wonderland world to stay connected with them. All I can offer you is that when I first went through this stage with my Mum over 4 years ago, I not only had to learn to adapt and change (still learning with each new phase) but I allowed myself to grieve a little also for what I had lost too and I do a little of this each day.

    On another of my recent threads, Wilf wrote something which touched me .... to remember that entering their world, even the unreal one, telling them 'love lies' etc would only make them love you more if they knew you were doing it because you care so much.

    You mentioned your Mum being left alone but I am not sure if this simply means in her room or alone in her home. If it is her room, I wonder if she would feel comforted by something as soft as a blanket - I found my Mum cuddling a teddy recently. If she is left alone in her home at night, are you worried that she is unsafe as well as fearful? If it is the latter, it sounds like it is time to get others involved as already suggested. Safety has to come first.

    You are in good company on this site - loads of advice from others well down the path ahead of you.
  6. Bobski

    Bobski Registered User

    Sep 15, 2015
    Many thanks

    I have to confess I have been so comforted by your responses and advice. I was uncertain if TP was the sort of thing that be of any benefit to me. The carers support and memory assesment team suggested that I should visit this site. Well I am so pleased that I took the time and joined the TP.
    I have excepted that my mums outlook has altered and will not correct or try to correct my mother when shes discusses me in the third person. It wont be easy, but I know its the right way to deal with this .

    I am now taking control both emotionally (my well being) and practically (carers)

    However I did shed a few tears again today when I was talking to my GP about my mum and the presures that I am under during my yearly MOT. The re emphasised to me that I am reaching breaking point!

    I will now take on support from an agency as I can see more clearly now thanks to your kind and honest comments.
  7. banger696

    banger696 Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    North East
    I find myself correcting mum as if I dont I get myself in a hole. One of her delusions is that we have more than one dog, and recently she said to me where is the other dog and in a panic I said oh he is upstairs thinking she would forget hours later when she went to bed. She didnt and hit the roof because the dog was not upstairs and I spent the next four hours trying to get her to bed and calm her down, how to handle this?
  8. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    It's nice to know my mum isn't the only one who sees animals. My mum is always looking for missing dogs and cats. I just tell her she only has 1 dog and the other animals must have been the neighbours and have gone back home now.
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    The other dog is obviously staying with a friend :)

    Alternatively, instead of saying "no, we only have one dog" phrase it as I thought there was only one dog. Sometimes this can jog their memory if it comes and goes. Equally, if they then turn round and insist they are right it is easy to say "sorry, my mistake"

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