My dad is unable to recognise who my mom is and wants her to leave.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Polarbear, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Polarbear

    Polarbear Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    Hi everybody, I'm knew to this and haven't had a chance to introduce myself yet. We are in a bit of a dilemma at the moment so i have jumped straight in to see if anybody can offer any advice that might help us today.

    My dad was diagnosed with Vascular dementia and Alzheimers earlier this week, it wasn't a shock as he has been showing symptoms for a time now but it took quite a while to get him to go to the doctors.

    He has been having periods of time when he doesn't know who my mom is and referring to her in the third person but these periods have been only occasionally and quite short when they do occur. However, so far today, since getting up, he has had no idea who my mom is and has asked her to leave before his wife gets back, asked for the house keys as he's going to sell the house and said that my mom will create problems in his marriage.

    My mom phoned me and i spoke to my dad on the phone and he knew who i was straight away. He told me about the terrible situation that he was in with this other woman in the house and was none too happy. My mom was understandably beside herself about what to do and getting very upset.

    I have a virus illness at the moment and didn't want to pass it on and make matters worse so my husband has gone over to set up their new tv and see how things are. My dad recognised my husband and has been chatting to him about the football etc but he still doesn't know who my mom is.

    I have spoken to my dad again and he has said that some of the steam has come out of his ears now and that he has calmed down. He asked me where my mom was and i told him that she was visiting a friend who was ill and living on her own and that as the woman who was currently looking after him was so nice and cooking his dinner and looking after him, it was worth being nice to her and letting her stay. He then went and told my mom that i had said that she could stay the night and he was ok with that.

    I have no idea whether i have done the right thing but i was put on the spot and had to think quick. My husband is still with them and things are calm now but any advice on how to manage situations like this would be gratefully received. Thank you.
  2. Polarbear

    Polarbear Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    In relation to my thread, i forget to say that my dad has been prescribed donepezil hydrochloride 5mg. one a day.
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    hello welcome to TP
    My goodness your instincts are good - well done at managing the situation temporarily.
    People often find it works for the 'stranger' to leave the room or the house saying I'm off now because your wife will be back in 5 minutes. Quick change of outerwear, return as 'wife' or sometimes for the person to leave the house and then for you to phone to say, 'mum's on her way, answer the door to her please'. Usually something like this does the trick.

    My mum used to muddle me and her mum and we had to have a few minutes break to sort it out.

    Others will be on soon to give you more ideas!!
  4. Polarbear

    Polarbear Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    Thanks fizzie, thats sounds like a great thing to try, i wouldn't have thought of that. I'm going to phone my husband now and run it by him. Thanks again :)
  5. Polarbear

    Polarbear Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    WOO HOO, IT WORKED :) my mom said she was leaving and then changed her top and put her coat and hat on and went outside and knocked on the front door. My dad was so pleased to see her and now they are having a drink and a catch up.

    THANK YOU :)
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    hahaha you are welcome, a trick i learned from here too! This is a great place to be, welcome. Someone will always be able to help or support xx
  7. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015

    I understand. My husband shadows me all the time but does not know who I am sometimes. He wants to know when " she is coming back" ? I try all sorts of tactics and sometimes I look for myself with him! It is an awful situation.

    Aisling ( Ireland )
  8. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    Well done. I do hope your Mum copes with this - it must be very hard. Any story like that will probably get you through any sticky spots so long as your mum can cope and your family remember to go into play acting whenever your dad moves into a strange place.

    When I worked in a home for a while one or two residents paired up with their 'husband' or 'wife' on a regular basis even though they had another real one at home somewhere. It's all part of the 'what feels familiar' and may be based in the past. He maybe remembers your mum much more easily as she was years ago than as she is now. Really hard for the other person.
  9. Polarbear

    Polarbear Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    Thank you for everybody's kind words, one hurdle over, plenty more to come I'm sure.

    Its a huge comfort to know that there are others out there to offer help and support and i hope in time, I am able to do the same :)
  10. BLOOPS

    BLOOPS Registered User

    Feb 11, 2016
    Dad doesnt recognise

    Hi, I am new here too and just wanted to say how everything you have said is what happens to us too. It is so sad, and very tiring. Like with you, some days it doesn't happen at all but other days it happens a few times.
  11. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hello Bloops, welcome to TP x
  12. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    You did wonderfully. This heartbreaking scenario happened repeatedly to my poor mother. They had a daughter nearby, and when he ordered my mother out of the house, my sister would come and fetch her and take her for a drive and then return home with her as if they'd been out to dinner or to some event.

    My mother never really got over it. She felt such remorse for the things she said to him while he was in this last stage. She even remembered this up to about oh maybe 4 or 5 years ago. She is, alas, now in the last months of her life, and all is forgotten.

    One strategy we used was to tell my father she was a maid we hired to be with him while he was getting better. We had to do this without my mother hearing it. He would whisper to us, "Do you think she won't steal anything?" It was a very painful time.

    I think you did splendidly. Brava to you!
  13. paisley pattern

    paisley pattern Registered User

    Nov 1, 2014
    It has been good reading these posts. My dad is like that with my mum. He thinks she's someone he used to work with. He points things out in the home and says "my wife has one of those". He's always wanting to "go home because his wife will be wondering where he is". My mum will phone me and let me speak to him, to reassure him. I'll tell him to just stay where he is for now as it's cold outside and it's nice and cosy where he is. It's so difficult at times.
  14. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    I am in exactly the same situation and fizzie's trick has saved my sanity.

    The first time OH didn't recognise me, we were half way through watching Strictly. He just turned to me and asked, 'So what time are you going home?' I replied 'in a little while', totally shocked as it was the first time. A little bit later he told me that I had to go by 10pm as he was going to bed. I had visions of sleeping in the car! I suggested I would stay over. He replied, 'Yes, that's ok but you must sleep in the spare room, my wife wouldn't like you to sleep in the same bed as me!'

    Since then it has happened many times. I just grab my coat, say my goodbyes and leave. I put my coat on and come back in a few minutes later and I am me again!

    We have a favourite cafe and when we are in there, I am always someone else. He always asks if I would like to go back to 'his place' with him.

    Yesterday we were crossing the road. He was a bit indecisive so I grabbed his hand. He held both hands up and asked, 'What is going on here?' I said, 'I'm just holding your hand.' I don't think so,' he replied. 'The wife wouldn't like it.'

    It's a shock when it first starts to happen but I'm glad he just recognises me some of the time.

    Following posts on TP really helped me to cope with this. Thank heavens for TP, I say.

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