Husband does not recognise me

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
I really don't know how to handle my husband when he does not know who I am. I will have been with him all day and dressed in the same clothes and then something in his attitude makes me realise that its not me he is seeing any more. He'd been stable for awhile but something happened tonight, don't know what, except on a Saturday he takes Methotrexate. Tonight he's been asking who sent me, how I got here and how long am I staying. Its so difficult, I don't know if I should correct him or play along. I also have to try and stay calm as I'm starting to have panic attacks.
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
491
Yorkshire
Sorry I've no good advice but I wanted to send you my sympathy x
my mum seems to think I'm someone else a lot of the time now and its very upsetting and hard to deal with isn't it. Mum gets upset and aggressive about it at times. For the last few weeks shes been fixed on s particular person most of the time and its really hard.
It was suggested on here she may have a UTI causing the increased confusion so I took a sample to the drs on Monday and shes now on antibiotics for one. Although it doesnt seem to be having any effect on her not recognising me so far but I'm hoping it does.
Maybe you could try taking a sample in for your hubby in case he has an infection.
X
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,671
England
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point CherryTT4.
This is not uncommon with dementia. My husband lost me as his wife two years before he went into nursing care. Around the usual sundowning time he started to question whether we were married, was I really his wife. When I answered yes he just looked at me and I knew he did not believe me.

Then it progressed to him asking me where I was and what time would I be back. This was easier to deal with, I told him I was at the hairdressers,meeting at friend, dentist, shopping etc. etc. He would phone me on my mobile and I would be in the next room and tell him yes I was at the hairdressers and I would be back soon. Then I would go in and ask him to do something with me to distract him as best as I could.

One day I asked him who he thought I was and he said I was the nice lady who looked after him until Jay came for him. The house was not his home either but he was content to be with me so I accepted this weird relationship we had. I was questioned every night why was I getting into his bed but he never once said I could not. The wonderful world of dementia.,
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,740
south-east London
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @CherryTT4.

Occasionally my husband would have moments like this. Fortunately they were short-lived episodes but when they happened I would go with the flow rather than try to correct him.

Luckily, in these fleeting moments he still saw me as a friendly face and he was content to have me around and generally accepted my reassurance that everything was ok, that it was ok for us to both be where we were - and that he was welcome and safe.
 

PalSal

Registered User
Dec 4, 2011
779
Pratteln Switzerland
My husband cannot recognize me when there is too much other stimuli. TV, music, other people. busy places.
He needs peace and quiet. He never says who are you ....he just gets that frightened deer in the headlights look and I know he is lost.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
374
Mid Lincs
I feel for you CherryTT4, Welcome to TP.
The first time this happened to me it was like being smacked between the eyes with a brick. Fortunately it was short lived and only happens now when he has an infection. He asks when I have go home, or where am I sleeping that night. I just reassure him I am staying as it's too wet/windy/foggy to go anywhere else and he accepts that. I noticed with the last infection, 3weeks ago, he thought I was his mum, which is fine by me as he knows she loved him dearly so he feels safe and secure.
Dementia is so hard to deal with on all aspects.
 
Last edited:

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
Sorry I've no good advice but I wanted to send you my sympathy x
my mum seems to think I'm someone else a lot of the time now and its very upsetting and hard to deal with isn't it. Mum gets upset and aggressive about it at times. For the last few weeks shes been fixed on s particular person most of the time and its really hard.
It was suggested on here she may have a UTI causing the increased confusion so I took a sample to the drs on Monday and shes now on antibiotics for one. Although it doesnt seem to be having any effect on her not recognising me so far but I'm hoping it does.
Maybe you could try taking a sample in for your hubby in case he has an infection.
X
Thank you for your reply - its a comfort just to know that I'm not alone. x
 

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point CherryTT4.
This is not uncommon with dementia. My husband lost me as his wife two years before he went into nursing care. Around the usual sundowning time he started to question whether we were married, was I really his wife. When I answered yes he just looked at me and I knew he did not believe me.

Then it progressed to him asking me where I was and what time would I be back. This was easier to deal with, I told him I was at the hairdressers,meeting at friend, dentist, shopping etc. etc. He would phone me on my mobile and I would be in the next room and tell him yes I was at the hairdressers and I would be back soon. Then I would go in and ask him to do something with me to distract him as best as I could.

One day I asked him who he thought I was and he said I was the nice lady who looked after him until Jay came for him. The house was not his home either but he was content to be with me so I accepted this weird relationship we had. I was questioned every night why was I getting into his bed but he never once said I could not. The wonderful world of dementia.,
Thank you for your reply. I think that the phone idea is a good idea. I've offered to get his son on the phone - he lives a long way away and also offered to get me mother on the phone but that didn't help. It's when he recognises me and asks why the women came in that I don't know whether to tell him there was no one or to lie. At the moment I'm telling him she's in is imagination but I'm not sure this is right. Although there is no right or wrong just things that work. x
 

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @CherryTT4.

Occasionally my husband would have moments like this. Fortunately they were short-lived episodes but when they happened I would go with the flow rather than try to correct him.

Luckily, in these fleeting moments he still saw me as a friendly face and he was content to have me around and generally accepted my reassurance that everything was ok, that it was ok for us to both be where we were - and that he was welcome and safe.
Thank you for your reply - it is strange how easily they accept a strange person in the house. Its normally when he recognises me, after an event, that he is more anxious. x
 

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
My husband cannot recognize me when there is too much other stimuli. TV, music, other people. busy places.
He needs peace and quiet. He never says who are you ....he just gets that frightened deer in the headlights look and I know he is lost.
Thank you for your reply - I think that you do get to notice a 'look' before you know they don't recognise you. x
 

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
I feel for you CherryTT4, Welcome to TP.
The first time this happened to me it was like being smacked between the eyes with a brick. Fortunately it was short lived and only happens now when he has an infection. He asks when I have go home, or where am I sleeping that night. I just reassure him I am staying as it's too wet/windy/foggy to go anywhere else and he accepts that. I noticed with the last infection, 3weeks ago, he thought I was his mum, which is fine by me as he knows she loved him dearly so he feels safe and secure.
Dementia is so hard to deal with on all aspects.
Thank you for your reply - It's the over whelming feeling of loss and worry about what is coming. Not only losing your husband but also your best friend. x
 

Stayingalive

Registered User
Nov 24, 2019
23
Happened last evening. He was prowling around the house agitated and said he was really worried about where his wife was and that he'd have to go out in the dark, cold and rain to look for her. It's lovely that he still cares for me so much and is so upset when I'm 'missing', but it upsets me when he simply doesn't know who I am. I tried showing him family photos with pictures of me in, explaining who everybody was, but he just looks blank. It was a real struggle to prevent him from leaving the house last night. He wouldn't sit down, wouldn't settle, just kept on saying that he needed to go out to look for me. I hid the doorkeys when he went to bed just in case. It must be dreadful to be him, genuinely believing that his wife has vanished and unsure about what to do.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,030
Suffolk
In that situation I said that his wife had to go out and she had asked me to look after him until she came back. He asked if she would be back this evening, so I reassured him that she would be back at her bedtime,
When I eventually got into bed, he said, is that you? I said it was and he promptly went to sleep!

 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,498
Yorkshire
hi @Stayingalive
you might also try going out of the room, changing your clothes a little eg different, very old jumper, then calling through the door of the room 'hey it's(your name), (his name), I've got a coffee (or some treat) for us' then slowly enter the room with a smile and put the coffee next to him ... keep your behaviour low key, eg no pet names or touching him, sit in another chair and be very still, so you can assess how he is reacting, if negatively then need the loo and leave him be ... my dad seemed to clue in to my voice as long as he heard me before he saw me and it helped him orientate himself to me
you might even quietly put your coat on, go outside then come in calling to him in a cheerful way that you just had to pop out but you're back now and how about a cuppa ...
and have an excuse ready to cover why the other woman has left ... something vague and simple and immediately change the subject
doesn't always work but worth a try?

I probably wouldn't try explaining or showing photos as your husband won't, at that time, be able to shift his thinking ... I doubt you would react well to someone trying to convince you that he is your husband when you know he's not, which sadly is how it is at that time for your husband
 

CherryTT4

Registered User
Dec 5, 2019
33
Wiltshire
I thank everyone for their replies - it helps to know that a lot of our experiences are so similar. But it is also frightening to think of all of us going through this. I just need more patience and more coping techniques. Not only do I have me OH but I am also caring for my 88 year old mother. She lives across the road. Her cognitive skills are not too badly affected but her short term memory is getting worse.

Today my husband had his brain scan. That went very well - especially as I was not looking forward to the journey to and from the hospital. What I am dreading is the appointment following up at the doctors. I really don't think he has any idea what is happening to him.
 

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
119
Seeing family phots might work with some people but definitely doesn't work with my husband. In fact he seems to get more anxious thinking he's expected to know who they are when his brain isn't capable any more.
I'm surprised Carers aren't nominated for The Oscars, the way we have to 'act' all the time just to keep our loved one settled. Sometimes agreeing with my husband and living in his reality feels like it's sending me into his unreal world, but then I try to remember that this is no fault of his own and that he's not being difficult on purpose.
Sometimes if he has a hospital appointment I ring the consultant and ask if it's really necessary or could the report be sent to out GP as he doesn't understand why and where he's going and his anxiety levels would rise with a hospital visit.
Good luck. You sound like you're doing a good job