my mom thought I was a friend

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by jellymac, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. jellymac

    jellymac Registered User

    Nov 29, 2014
    West Midlands
    I had my mom at mine yesterday for a couple of hours to give my dad a break, she wasnt having a good day, was crying nearly all the time. I tried all sorts of things to distract her but nothing worked, she just kept saying im sorry. I asked her if she knows who I am and she said my friend. She didn't know at all that im her daughter, I know i shouldn't let it but it really hurts and I cant stop crying.ive always dreaded this part and I really hoped we weren't at that stage yet. Im sorry for sounding really silly and selfish, I know there are so many going through so much worse. I just want my mom back
  2. liz56

    liz56 Registered User

    Feb 15, 2015
    North Somerset
    It does hurt, it's one of the hardest things to accept. My Dad confuses all relationship words. At different times I may be his sister/ daughter/ friend, but he still knows me as Liz. So maybe your mom knows you by your name, someone she loves and feels loved by, even though she has 'lost' the word daughter ?
    Take care x
  3. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    My Mum thinks I am her social worker when I telephone and visit, and she thinks my SIL is her carer. When I tell her who I am she says 'oh her, she never does anything for me' and continues to run me down, which she has done for over 40 years. I have never been close to my Mum, who is selfish self centred and lazy, and was never interested in anyone except herself even before dementia.
    It hurts but it is dementia bringing out her true nature.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum and I used to be very close, but now she usually thinks that I am her mother and she cannot remember my name. She will often look at me and say "Im sorry - I dont know who you are" I was really upset the first time she did that even though I knew it would happen eventually.
    It is strange though as her face will light up when she sees me, so she knows that I am important to her.
  5. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    My granny used to tell everyone I was her brother, so I had to console myself that she at least knew I was family. OH keeps asking where's Robbie ? and it takes a long time to remind her I am Robbie. That is harder to take, but then she goes back to normal by the morning.
    All the best to everyone
  6. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Think that they're living in the past when they were young. Any adult female is probably 'mum'. It's a compliment!
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Im sure you are right spamar
    And Ive seen photos of my grandma when she was the age that I am now. We do look very similar:rolleyes:
  8. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    I have decided to take it that way recently, when mum has taken to introducing me to her carers as her mum ......I thought at first it was a slip of the tongue, but it's happened too often now for that x
  9. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    North East
    My Mum didn't know who I was for the last 14 months of her life. I used to get upset about it but then just accepted it and appreciated that she was still here. It's tough though. Xx
  10. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    The first time it happened to me I was actually less upset than I thought I'd be, which is odd because, although I was prepared for it to happen, I really didn't think it would happen so quickly.

    But it's only on occasion for now. She either thinks I'm her cousin or refers to me as 'that lady who comes and cooks for us'. It was much worse when she was going through a spate of TIAs following being hospitalised for a stroke. Things have been a bit better the last few weeks.

    The day she doesn't know who my Dad is will, I think, hit me harder because they've been married 49 years and she dotes on him. I often think that focussing on him keeps her from deteriorating further. And I really don't know how my Dad will cope with that either.

    I find myself hoping that fate will intervene before things get to that stage, but I know she could physically go on for another 10 years and that horrifies me because I know there will be nothing left of her poor brain by then. :(
  11. Stresshead

    Stresshead Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    Hi Jellymac I too understand how that feels. There has only been my dad and me for 34 years (no siblings and mum died when I was young) and we have always been really close. It really upset me when one day he asked me 'how do we know each other? Are we related?'. I was so shocked and took it really badly but after a while began to realise that even though he refers to me as being his sister now and has no recollection of ever having had any children he knows there is a tight bond between us and tells me every night when I take him up to bed that he loves me.

    Try not to let it upset you too much. I'm sure mum knows you are someone really special to her.

    Sending hugs.

    L x

    PS something to make you smile.........I'm 42 years old and one day last year when dropping dad off at his luncheon club one of his friends said to him 'who's that woman you're with?' to which my 83 year old father said 'oh, that's my sister'. His friend said 'she looks very young to be your sister' and my dad replied 'oooh she's not that young, she must be well into her 70's' !!!!! Thanks dad............although some days I feel it and probobly look it too !! xx
  12. Vesnina2

    Vesnina2 Registered User

    Oct 8, 2014
    #12 Vesnina2, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    Just hug her and it will feel different! We tend to give too much importance to words and thoughts.
    ... and too much importance to our faces...

    Hugs change so much. Because close contacts give so much. Use hugs, dear ladies!
  13. Wendy C

    Wendy C Registered User

    Jan 29, 2012
    West Midlands
    It is a horrible part of altzheimers when the sufferer does not recognise the ones that love them any more. Moms doctor told me that she does not know who we are anymore, but our faces are familiar, and she does sometimes smile at us. We could be anybody though Mom does not talk anymore, so she can't even say our names, so we don't know who she thinks we are..:(
  14. jellymac

    jellymac Registered User

    Nov 29, 2014
    West Midlands
    Thank you to everyone, it means a lot you took the time to reply. My moms had a bad few days, my dad called me last night to say he couldn't cope anymore, I had to stay the night which was hard on my 2 young daughters, who wanted me at home with them. My dad has refused help until now as he feels he would be letting my mom down but thankfully he's finally agreed to some help.
  15. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi jellymac :)

    Sorry you are having a difficult time, but its great that your dad has agreed to have some help :)

    All the best :)

    Lindy xx
  16. starryuk

    starryuk Registered User

    Nov 8, 2012
    Well, Wendy, I don't think your doctor understood really. My mum recognised faces in her CH, but she knew I was 'her's' even if she did introduce me to everyone as her mother/sister etc. And as someone said, her face would light up when she saw me. I know she loved me. Not the same as knowing the faces of those who lived round her.

    Jellymac, your mum may not be able understand 'daughter', but she knows you are her's. She knows she has a special bond with you....
  17. MeganCat

    MeganCat Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    South Wales
    When mum was acutely unwell she asked me who I was - that was really hard. She had no emotion in her eyes. Once she got a bit better she remembered me. She Then got very confused with relationships - daughter became sister etc - I remember my gran asking my auntie if she was her mother! She knows you are hers and are dear to her - the label is less important - treasure this time - I'm not sure my mum differentiates me from the carers now - but just a few months ago she was very affectionate and telling me she loved me quite fervently - almost like she knew she was losing her grip on the facts - who knows?? it is hard xx
    Ps worth checking your mum hasn't got an infection eg uti as a reason for her recent downturn
  18. CarolynR

    CarolynR Registered User

    Jun 16, 2015
    I know how you feel my mothers true self is now being seen by everyone not just us

    My mother was a bully , she was a control freak and liked to hit and shout we usually didn't know why, only our family knew her bad behaviour but now it's out for everyone to see , I had hoped my father would get some peace from her but he's worn out by her and I'm sad to see how ill he looks , he cares for her very well but I know she wouldn't do the same for him .
    She some times doesn't know me and thinks he's inviting women home 'Floozies' she shouts at me and orders me out the house , Dad had a fall and he had to ask the care workers to stop coming to the house as she would rant and rave at him after they had gone
  19. jpk

    jpk Registered User

    Jun 10, 2014
    warrington, cheshire
    I understand

    I understand how you feel. I have been called everything except my own name, by my wife. You go back tomorrow and she will probably recognize you. It changes from time to time. Today I am John tomorrow I will probably be Dad. Her mind is so confused that I am pleased that she can actually recognize the fact that I exist at all. I sympathise with you in that you feel alone and have lost someone who you love dearly. Just think what is happening to her and how she feels so confused. She knows you are there just by physical contact. She may not be able to find the words to express it. Just hold on to her and give her a hug.
  20. morph

    morph Registered User

    Apr 14, 2012
    You must be very sad that your Mum is changing so much. You will stop crying in the end - it's pretty much like grieving it doesn't go on forever.

    A delusion (that you are a friend) is a very powerful experience for her and you can't just argue her out of it. Be her friend, when you are ready to do that. The real fact that you love each other is the important thing. Names/labels/not so much.

    My Aunt experienced all sorts of muddle about who I was... but she always welcomed and trusted me.

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