• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

I’m a stranger

Very worried

New member
Mar 28, 2020
2
How do I deal with the fact my husband doesn’t know who I am, he thinks I am one or sometimes both of our daughters, any advice I would be grateful for as it’s been a very rapid decline.
Very worried
 

wendy e

Registered User
Mar 29, 2020
12
Very similar situation with me over the last few weeks. Husband thinks I am either his sister or sister-in-law. Sat next to me this afternoon and told me he needed to fetch his wife from work! He also does not think he lives here , he is just visiting although he built the house and has lived here 20yrs. Strangely he realised he did live here when he saw the cat. Hurts that he knows the cat but not me. Sorry , I know that's not helping you except to know there are lots of us in this situation.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,449
N Ireland
Hello @wendy e and @Very worried, you are both welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

The situations you describe are, unfortunately, all too common. My wife has on occasion asked me if I'm her mummy or her daddy! In my wife's case it always seems that she knows there is a close relationship but that she can't put a name to it. This can happen when confusion/anxiety produces a need for the security of a time in life when they felt secure and in control.

Sometimes a person with dementia will have only a memory of a younger person so can mistake children for spouses because they look like their father or mother at a young age. Other syndromes can be the cause of these things and details of them can be found in the Publications list.

One thing that strikes me is that a rapid decline and recent developments have been mentioned. Infections, esp UTI's, can cause this and that should be checked.

I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done. There is also a Dementia Guide in the list.

Now that you have found us I hope you will both keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
 

Very worried

New member
Mar 28, 2020
2
Very similar situation with me over the last few weeks. Husband thinks I am either his sister or sister-in-law. Sat next to me this afternoon and told me he needed to fetch his wife from work! He also does not think he lives here , he is just visiting although he built the house and has lived here 20yrs. Strangely he realised he did live here when he saw the cat. Hurts that he knows the cat but not me. Sorry , I know that's not helping you except to know there are lots of us in this situation.
Just to know I’m not alone, he remembered me for a little time today but I’m gone again now, heartbreaking x
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
462
Mid Lincs
My OH generally knows who I am but if he has an off day or infection he asks if I'm his mum. I just say yes as he was very close to her and loved her dearly so I know he feels safe when he thinks he's in her company. On one occasion he asked me if I would like to be his mum, I said I would love to be and it was an honour he had asked me. I always said the day he didn't know me would break me, but in all honesty as long as he feels safe and secure I am happy with whatever he believes.
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
187
Just to know I’m not alone, he remembered me for a little time today but I’m gone again now, heartbreaking x
I’ve had this for about 9months. Suddenly one day, my husband told me his wife had gone, seemingly had disappeared overnight without a word. His biggest worry was that she had taken his money!! A few weeks later he told me she has died. And that‘s where we still are today. When we look at photos he tells me it’s his wife, but has no idea it’s me, even fairly recent photos. I’ve got used to it, but some days it really gets to me. I seem to have slotted in her place, and sometimes he can be fairly affectionate, but no question that I’m new here!!
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,052
Yorkshire
Sorry I don't really have any helpful suggestions but wanted to say as others have before that you aren't alone in this. It is hard to cope with and you have my sympathy X The advice I was given was to just go along with it if possible, I do try but I find that really hard as its not a constant thing with my mum and she will also question me about it.
My mum loses who I am constantly. At first she didn't always know I was her daughter but knew I was someone important to her and was happy to be with me. Then she started asking and talking about 'our andie' which is me and moaning about me not seeing her. Over the months she has come up with allsorts of complicated reasons why I haven't been there or of where I am. I stayed with her for a few months last year and at night I would often be called mum which I did used to go along with.
Then I became an old friend from a long time ago and also a friend with the same name as me. She also mixes my hubby up with that old friends hubby, sometimes at the same time as mixing me up, sometimes not so she thinks we've swapped hubbys.
For a few months she would get really agitated over it and demand I go so our andie could come and she'd want to know why I as the 'friend' had brought her to our Andies house. It caused a lot of problems at the time as I am her main carer and if I left as she wanted there would be no one to care for her and at times we had to hide keys so she couldn't get out or throw me out. She would get very angry but also very worried and upset about where our Andie had gone. It was an awful time but eventually after a few calls to memory clinic mum was prescribed setraline for the anxiety and agitation which did help with how she reacts.
She still mixes me up constantly, a lot of the time I'm not sure who I am meant to be as it can flip a few times within minutes and I can even be two people at once. It is extremely hard work but at least she is a lot calmer about it now and doesn't insist I leave or try to leave herself, though she does still suggest it at times. When she realises she has lost me or mixed me up, like she just has tonight, she gets upset about it and can't believe she doesn't know her own daughter. Because of the sertraline the upset isn't as bad as it was but she still does get upset and so do I.
For me it is hard to go along with it as I can flip about between someone else and me in same sentence or I'll be going along with being friend and then I'll be our andie again without warning and I answer wrongly and then she will often ask who I am and tell me I need to tell her. She will sit in front of me asking me questions about me to catch me out and often looks me up in her address book to ring me when I am sat in front of her. If she can see me speaking she will ask me to put our Andie on or ask why I'm answering her phone. Sometimes if I'm not in same room as her when she's on phone she will recognise me as her daughter and I often just say I'll see her tomorrow but sometimes she doesn't recognise my voice so still asks where our Andie is.
At first when she thought I was someone else or just not me she didn't really ask about me her daughter but then she started asking about me all the time and I find that really hard. I don't know if it would be easier. but I think it would be, if when she thought I was someone else she forgot about Our Andie at same time so she wouldn't keep asking about me or thinking I'm going to turn up.
I hope you find a way of coping and dealing with it x lots of love and luck x
 

wendy e

Registered User
Mar 29, 2020
12
My OH generally knows who I am but if he has an off day or infection he asks if I'm his mum. I just say yes as he was very close to her and loved her dearly so I know he feels safe when he thinks he's in her company. On one occasion he asked me if I would like to be his mum, I said I would love to be and it was an honour he had asked me. I always said the day he didn't know me would break me, but in all honesty as long as he feels safe and secure I am happy with whatever he believes.