Identity crisis?

Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Had an odd thing happen at mum's birthday party last week.

Clearly there had been an incident with dad of some sort but I couldn't find out exactly what at first because we don't talk about mum's behaviour or illness when she's there - a difficult feat given that she follows dad everywhere!

Anyway, to try and show me what was happening dad asked mum "what's your name?" She said "Kitty". Kitty is not even close to my mum's name. He said "Are you sure, I thought your name was B?" and she said "No."

I've never seen anything on here about people not knowing who they are - it's difficult to know if she still thinks this because she hasn't spoken again since.

Has anyone come across this before? What shoudl we do? Call her by the name she thinks she is or still call her by her normal name?

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
No, I haven't had that happen and my mother is very far along - the last stage. She still responds to her name by looking at me. Most of the time.

Just goes to show how individual this disease is.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Can't help either, Kate, I'm afraid.

All I can suggest is that you try using both names (sepatately, of course!), and see if either of them upsets your mum. If she's happier being Kitty, I'd go along with that.

Bear in mind,though, that she may be Kitty one day, but revert to her own name the next!:eek:



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Kate

Try either or, if one day she responds to Kitty, next day she responds to B--, so what? Whatever keeps her happy, whatever works??

Take care

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006

Sorry Kate, even in the final stages my mother knew her own name.

Could Kitty possibly be a pet name from your mother`s childhood?

Love xx


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
Hi Kate,

This possibly could have been a nickname at sometime in her younger years. At eighteen my mum started a career in nursing where she was affectionately known as 'Dolly' her family never referred to her as Dolly. Mum left nursing in 1948 and last year she thought Dolly was her name when I told her that her name was Irene she said, that will do I don't mind. There were times when mum just didn't know her name and one day the podiatrist asked her if she was Irene.... mum said, blessed if I know but that will do :). Love Taffy.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Kate,
I agree with other postings about how to deal with it on a daily basis as long as you Mum is responding to the said name.

Sometime ago, Peter did not know his name, dated of birth, where he lived and it took me eight months for him to learn his name etc. I was so worn out at the end of it, but Peter has not called me by my name for so long I was just the nice lady that looked after him.
Just another pathway of the dreadful illness.

Do hope you are taking care and resting.

Love from
Christine xxx


Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
coast of texas

Mom had a similar incident happen to her. The name that she remembered was, in fact, a nickname. I had never heard of this name until recently. It drove me nuts! At first. I did however learn to live with it and mom had loved the name so oh well!. I did however have it engraved on a bracelet with my phone number on the back. I had a police officer tell me to treat her as my own child or pet. He wasn't trying to be mean. He just explained that when they encountered "those" types that if they didn't know better they would be sent to a hospital for evaluation. He explained that a tag...whatever with a name on it had a better chance of being called early on in these situations also. He also explained that too many times we don't think that they can't get home because we guard them so well. Her in the US we have what they call SILVER alerts they are for the elderly who disappear. They are designed to bring the elderly home quickly, and a tag with a name and phone number doesw just the same.

Sorry to get off with everything else I learned to go with the flow, with mom and my kids joked that I had a dual life. Being that sometimes I was 2 different people and not because I was mental!



Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
Thanks everyone - it's good to know others have seen the same thing.

Strangely Kitty was my nickname in the office we worked in together for a few years - I'd say about six/seven years ago now. That's partly why it surprised me so much.

Mum had a fall a couple of days ago - she was in a rage and took off from dad but fell off the kerb and smashed her face on the pavement. Thankfully no real damage done as far as we can discover but lots of bruising. Trying to find a way to explain it to the kids before they see her tomorrow.

Surprisingly this has upset me more than anything else that has happened in the last few weeks which is strange given the range of "new" behaviours we've seen - not knowing her name, incontinence etc. We seem to be on a very steep, slippery slide at the moment.

I am resting and trying to be good - blood pressure still down but developed an unbilical hernia and am being tested for gestational diabeties tomorrow - doh!! Never rains but it pours - thankfully not much longer to go!


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi, Kate, glad you're managing to keep the BP down, in spite of all other problems! The champagne is on ice!:D

I'm not surprised you're upset by your mum's fall, I know a couple of the ladies in John's unit have falls, and the sight of their poor bruised faces reduces me to tears. I'm glad it hasn't had any bad after-effects.