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Mum does not recognize me


Registered User
Sep 23, 2006
Rabat (Malta)
My mother has entered into the final stages of AD. She is not recognizing me and for her is agonizing and for me too. She is crying all the time. She wants to go home and she IS at home. She is suffering terribly.

I do not know how to deal with this. In fact this afternonn I shall be having an appointment with my psychiatrist in order to help how to deal with this because I am getting very depressed. :(

It is terrible for my mother not to know me and it seems now that I do not know her either because it seems I am living with a unknown person. I am confused too.


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
It certainly is a very difficult problem when someone decides that they want to go home after living in the same place for a nuber of years.

If it is any help, when Jean had those moments of crying and wanting to go home, I put on her shoes, hat and coat and told her that she is going home. The crying stopped then. We then walked out of the door and round the housing estate where we live until we reached our house again. By that time she was quite happy that she was at home.

It is very distressing when the patient does not recognise you or other members of your family. We have two children and Jean knows that they are nice people but has no awareness of the relationship. It did use to upset the children but, as time went on, the hurt seemed to go away for them as they realised the depth of the disease.

The situation need a lot of ingenuity, patience and, above all, love and understanding.

Every patient seems to be different and what might work for one does not necessarily work for another.

I am sure, though, of three things:-

1) I can only relate relate what is happening in my particular circumstances

2) There are much better people on the TP site that can put a more qualified view than mine

3) The help that is available on the site is second to none

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear oikumene,
What an ordeal for you. I can`t add much to Grommit`s excellent response other than to say your mother is in there somewhere, just lost.
The stress of dealing with this is totally overwhelming and I do hope you are able to receive some medical help.
Love Sylvia x


Registered User
Nov 24, 2006
Its probably the moment we all dread not being recognized. Its been so long since mum knew me I can't remember how long ago it was. I often wonder if she stills knows but is just trapped inside and can't tell me. We found that mum got upset and cried alot when her medication wasn't right. It only had to be slightly wrong. Mum now spends her day sleeping or just talking but not making sentences. Every now and then she says something that we can understand and makes us smile but those are very few. I went to see her yesterday and when I said hello she just looked at me and laughed. Take care Ann


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
My dear Lionel does not really know who I am. He has no memory of the past 10 years, which is all of our time together.

He does however relate warmly to the person he percieves me to be.............a stranger, a friend, a former girlfriend. Hard for me to understand, so how much harder it must be for him, not being able to make any sense of the world he now inhabits.


Registered User
Jul 28, 2005
south london
With regards to not recognising you, does she think you are another relative? My mum often mistoke me for 2 of her brothers. If this is the case you are best trying to live with it try and live in her world, don't try and make her live in the real world.

If you mother doesn't recognise you at all that is really scary and I sympathise with you. I lived with my mother all my life and once she went into hospital I sat down next to her and she said "do I know you". It is really hard but glad to see you are getting help.

With regards to wanding to go home, this is very common. depending on how mobile your mother is you could try taking her for a walk and telling her you are taking her home, for me this worked most of the time, however sometimes she would tell me to keep walkiung as home wasn't much further.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I have no words of advise, sorry but like to say thank-you for sharing as this is one of my main fears in how I will cope when my mother does not recognize me and my children, she slowly getting there I sadly feel now ,as lots of her memories are despairing and just this stage is depressing me .

Shounds like to me that you’ve done the right thing
I shall be having an appointment with my psychiatrist in order to help how to deal with this because I am getting very depressed
As I have an
Appointment with my doctor on Monday and would like him to refer me to one , so I am prepared for the now and the future with my mother illness , so that I do not go down , I really do need coping skills and no that psychiatrist can give me that .

all the best

PS Grommet what words of wisdom thank -you for shareing
The situation need a lot of ingenuity, patience and, above all, love and understanding
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Registered User
Feb 12, 2007
My mother thinks I'm her cousin. I used to try to tell her I was her daughter but there was no way she would believe me. As hard as it is I just have to try to put it to the back of my mind and change the subject when she says I'm her cousin.


Registered User
May 14, 2006
My Mum is always pleased to see me, but she sometimes thinks that I am her sister and she keeps asking about her brother who died in the Second World War. She also thinks my grown up children are still at school and we need to collect them.
I sometimes get rather confused because she seems to be talking about relations who as far as I know never existed. There isn't anyone I can ask about family history so I can't check if what she says is actually true or not. Yesterday she thought that my sister-in-law was trying to get rid of her, but I haven't even got a proper sister-in-law! Mum must have a very vivid imagination!


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
This is where, if they cannot recognise this world, we have to enter theirs:

Is this so bad? after all this is where they are. I can only try to imagine Lionels frustration when I attempt to ask him about people he does not remember in photographs.

These days he leads, I follow. He dictates where the conversation, if any, is going. I do find this is easier. I never correct, for after all, what would be the point. These are his memories, not mine.

Difficult times I know, but who ever said it would be easy.


Registered User
Feb 13, 2007
Tyne and wear
Tricky one,

Taking people out for a walk to orientate them may work, on the other hand you may then have to spend many a night walking around the bloc, personally I usually opt for the truth them I always remenber what have said previously.

Usually try to build on what is still on the memory curcuit, where do we live? are there any land marks you can see from your window, any memories of things going on in the house... can you remember the cat used to like climbing that tree, point and orientate. Also reminding them of people that live next door or have lived in the street for a long time helps.

pops is not recognising me at the moment, asks me who I am going to care for next, funny though he does not recognise mum at times, knows my sis, I feel secure that I am loved and that he knows me on a deeper level, he will have a hug and a kiss of me, sit and chat and go out with me. Nana was the same and mum used to get upset and keep trying to orientate her to family and this just used to upset her, proberbally cause mum wanted to be remembered, and nana could feel the tension.

now of the opinion that any time I spend with pops, not really bothered if i'm remembered, the one thing that will always be clear is that I am loved and want any time to be the best that it can, so maybe try orientation techniques, but always remember how they felt about you before all this occured.

hope this helps