Mum didn't recognize me.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Jesskle66, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Jesskle66

    Jesskle66 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2014
    The title says it all. Yesterday when I visited mum she didn't know who I was. I had suspected that she wasn't 100 percent sure who I was on the previous couple of visits, but yesterday she said 'You are my sister, aren't you?' Of course my natural reaction was, 'no, I'm your daughter, silly,', probably the least helpful way of putting things but it just came out. She accepted me as her daughter for the rest of the visit, during which she was continuously hallucinating that her brothers and sisters were in the room and she was arguing with them (the last one died two years ago). Then she gripped my hand and said, 'Don't be upset when I die, it isn't the end just a beginning to something else.' Quite startling and poignant.
    I have such a mixture of feelings. Some of you know that my mum and were very close and that she turned against me when the dementia really kicked, with physical and constant verbal abuse. Part of me is glad that is now over even if it is at the price of her not recognizing me. It sounds silly but I'm also shocked at how quickly things change, even though it hasn't been quick...a year and a half since since sectioning and formal diagnosis. I suppose because I haven't seen her every day like I used to it seems quicker. The stages seem pretty fluid but I am guessing this means she has well and truly entered the severe stage now.
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi Jesskle66
    I feel for you
    I had a visit with dad a few weeks ago, he was sitting in the lounge and had a grumpy face on - normally he's in his room and I get to open the door before he sees me and cheerily 'shout' "Hello dad, it's ..." to let him know who I am - that time he saw me before I could speak and just blanked me, when I said I'd come to visit him he said why (nastily) and that no-one visits him and why should I - so I beat a hasty retreat so as not to upset him - it hasn't happened again, at least not so overtly - and thank goodness for TP as I was kind of waiting for that moment so wasn't too taken aback

    like you, though, I think he's not wholly sure sometimes exactly who I am - he told another resident the other day that I am his daughter but didn't give my name - though the staff say he calls for me by name when he's anxious - and last visit I caught him looking across to me as though to check I was still there but also as if he wasn't wholly sure why I was there, but he settled as though relieved so my presence was a comfort to him and welcome - so I'll settle for that :)

    what an amazing thing for your mum to say - poignant, definitely - motherly and kind, also - I hope, with your history, her words are a comfort
  3. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    I feel for you also.
    We are slowly getting there with Mum, who is still at home with Dad, but the time is coming where she will have to go into care. It's all getting too much for Dad, and for me who cares for both of them.

    She doesn't often see my brother these days, and once didn't recognise him on the phone and hung up, and after visiting Mum one day, she asked me if "that man" was coming back.
    She asked me what Dads name was yesterday.

    Also on the weekend when I wasn't well and she was wanting me to take her out, and I had to tell her No, I wasn't well and we would phone my sister who was at home, and doesn't have younger children like me, and she said that she couldn't phone her.
    When I asked why she said she didn't know her like me.
    Mum looked at me, and I said she is your daughter and you have a son too, she just looked blank.

    Seems to come and go at the moment with Mum. :(
  4. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    My mum has not recognised me during my regular visits for some time now, she thinks I am a cleaner, carer or even a social worker. If I do remind her she insists she does not have any children.
    I have tried showing her family photos old and new but she has shown little or no interest in any of them. It is sometimes easier to go along with her and leave her in her own little world.
  5. Georgina63

    Georgina63 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2014
    Same here

    It's hard isn't it. My mum was diagnosed 2014 with AD and hasn't recognised me as her daughter for some months. She'll ask if I have family, children etc. It's very sad. But I am trying to learn to build a new relationship - she does recognise me., just not as a daughter, and does respond to my visits. She is still at home with Dad and I live very close and lots of care help comes through the day. Dad also has AD (2014 too) and I dread the day he no longer recognises me. Each day as it comes! Gx
  6. Dave66

    Dave66 Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    Hi Jesskle66

    Another very sad aspect of this horrendous disease.

    My Mam hasn't called me by my name for that long, I can't remember the last time she said it. I see Mam 4-6 times every week, I've had her stay here for a few days or a week, not once has she used my name. I've been her son, brother, husband, father, I assume Mam struggles at times to put names with relationships. Mam does know my Dad's name, but he has been her boyfriend, husband, brother and father. Mam also know my partners name and is always asking about or for her by name.

    I accept how Mam is with names, as well as everything else, I don't get upset when she doesn't call my name or use it in a sentence, sadly, it's just how it is.
  7. Deputypink

    Deputypink Registered User

    Aug 4, 2013
    Dad did not recognise me for the last year of his dementia. But why should he ? He had a new family - all those wonderful carers who looked after him so well in the home .For dad aslong as he was well looked after - that was the important thing . I would still go in and give him a kiss, a bag of quavers and a drink and talk about my day regularly - but I often thought to myself - am I doing this for him or for me ! Whatever the answer I did it because of how he had looked after me so much all my life and I still loved him so much ..... For all of us we will always love our relatives with dementia because of the happy memories we had in the happier years
  8. Gwendy1

    Gwendy1 Registered User

    Feb 9, 2016
    It's so painful when you start to doubt that your parent doesn't know you. With dad, it comes and goes. Sometimes he looks angry at me, I wonder what I've done...I find it hard/ upsetting. I have to accept its his illness, not me. Accepting is not easy. Every stage has its own pain and loss, for everyone involved. I'm not an expert, I'm struggling daily too. Much love to you. G. X

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  9. Charlie39

    Charlie39 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2012
    My Mum still knows me when she see's me, but I am not local and it is so hard on the phone. She keeps everything very general - how are you all, what have you been doing etc etc. She spelt my name wrong recently and that scared me. I feel for all of you, it is a hideous thing. I so love my Mum and I'd like her back. Somehow I need to brace myself and reading all your advice and experience is a real help.

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