My Grandma and Dementia

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by haribo, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. haribo

    haribo Registered User

    Sep 8, 2015
    My grandma has been diagnosed with dementia.

    It's been a few years since the family suspected that she had dementia, which I chose to ignore.

    This weekend we moved her out of her home and into my Aunt's house so she can be cared for.

    On Sunday she didn't recognise me for the first time, which has been really difficult to come to terms with.

    I am really struggling to cope at the moment with the fact that she will forget who I am.

    I know many of you will have been in a similar situation, could anyone please help or give any advice on how to get through this?
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Hello Haribo and welcome to Talking Point.

    It is very upsetting when you realise that you are no longer recognised by the person living with dementia. My husband lost me 5 years ago but I was still familiar to him so he was happy in my company and obviously trusted me as he had done when I was the wife he recognised. I took comfort from that and still do.

    It will get easier for you and you will still be her Grandaughter and she your lovely Grandmother, nothing can change that.
  3. haribo

    haribo Registered User

    Sep 8, 2015
    I'm scared to go and see her.

    She is visibly distressed when she has to ask who people are - I don't want to be the cause of that.
  4. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    Each persons experience and reactions to Dementia differs. As one person who has been through the whole experience of caring for my late wife, I can't offer advice, but relate how I managed to handle recognition problems.

    The progress of the disease as it affects the memory is not I likened it to a box of tissues. First one in is the last one out. My wife reached the stage when she wondered where her husband was. The old man who looked after her was just that, not the young man she married. None the less she sensed she was safe in my company, she felt wanted. All through the final years I found it possible to communicate love and concern for her welfare. There were no need for words. One can transmit feeling of stress, worry and upset to a loved one, just as small child is aware when its Mum is unhappy.

    Some people have the natural capacity to send out loving vibes. There was a member of staff at the supermarket I took my wife to who always rushed to greet her. I mention it in my book. She took my wife's hand and talked as she squatted by her wheelchair, her eyes lit up. When you love someone your feeling become secondary.
    Sorry for the long spiel, but I did learn so very much about my wife's Alzheimer's caring 24/7 on my own year on year in our home.
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Haribo, welcome to TP
    When you go and visit as soon as you walk into the room introduce yourself by saying "Hello grandma it's me Haribo" it'll save her having to try to remember for herself who you are.
    It's sad you have to do this but I have to remind my wife to do everything; wash her hands, brush her teeth, brush her hair or whatever, I brush my hair then after she's seen me do it give her the brush and she copies what I've done.
  6. Babymare01

    Babymare01 Registered User

    Apr 22, 2015
    Hello there :) Its so hard coming to terms with that moment your loved ones don't recognise you. I have been in this situation for some months now and yes I still struggle. But I find that there is something in my voice that my mum recognises - be it only sometimes - and phrases that she knows. "how about a cup of tea mum" seems to get reaction. Is it the way I have always said it my mum recognises? I don't know. But I understand how you are feeling hun. But don't stop talking to Grandma. Have photos with you that can lead to conversations about past times and talk about those times.

    Please have a big big hug xxx
  7. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    I know this must be very upsetting for you and agree with what's been said above. But also bear in mind that it's possible that the move will have worsened her confusion and once she's settled she may well remember you again. My 89 year old mother (who lives with me) recently had just 2 weeks in hospital and when she came home didn't recognise that I was her daughter or know where anything was in the house although she has lived her for 4 years (and I'd been visiting twice a day while she was in hospital). After a few weeks things returned to where they were before largely and although she can remember very little she does recognise me and others again. Just keep talking to her - and keep posting
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think Rodelinda is correct - it's highly likely that this move has contributed to this and more than likely that when she has become more accustomed to being in this strange house that she will again recognize you. Try to imagine what it must be like to be uprooted from your environment when you have memory problems. Who people are is probably the last thing you are focusing on: much more likely for her to be dealing with the whole "who am I? where am I? where's the bathroom/food/bedroom?"

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