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My mum


Registered User
Dec 13, 2013
I was just wondering if anyone elses parent with dementia thinks their spouse is actually their dad or mum? My poor mum calls my dad who is her husband her dad!


Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
My husband when he first started to loose who I was did on several occasions refer to me as his Mother when talking to our children. Made me feel great, if his Mother had been alive she would have been about 110 and bless her, at 60 she looked 20 years older.:)


Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
Hi Alison1981

My Mam calls my Dad, mother, Mam, her, she, Dad, him, he can be her brother, boyfriend, father, very, very rarely does she call him by his name.

I'm normally Dad, son, she can think that I'm her brother at times, what I'm never called is David.

There is only one person who regularly sees Mam who get's called by her name and that's my partner, the person who has spent the least amount of time in Mam's life out the 3 of us. :) :confused:


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
Sometimes I think its also a mix between forgetting the relationship, husband, wife, sister, daughter etc, but also substituting the word for another. Like she might say dad but mean husband... hard to be sure :)

My Mum has just gone into permanent care.
In the past month she thought dad was 3 people.
My Dad, her husband Dave, and a man called David that lived there with her. Also I was her daughter, and her neighbour, but she could not understand that she was my mother.
If I called dad, Dad. Mum would say whose Dad, my dad? No I would say My Dad, Dave your husband. We would go round in circles till I got to the point of just calling Dad, Dave. All rather confusing :)

David was the one that she was scared of.... this prompted the sudden decision for Mum to go into respite which turned into permanent care.
She would come over to my house literally shaking, and asking why she had to live with him, why was he sleeping in her bed. Dad could not cope with this at all. So sad :(


Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
My mum once called my daughter "mum". If her mum had still been alive she would have been 111yrs old. My daughter was 18 at the time, 60 years younger than the woman who was calling her "mum".

My daughter strongly resembles her great grandma...


Registered User
Jan 11, 2014
Ontario canada
Linbrusco's story pretty much same As mine. Mom finally had to go into ch because she didn't know dad and was afraid of him.....that was 2 1/2 years ago...he sees her everyday since at the ch home. Sometimes he is the nice guy who comes to visit....always when others in the nh come near...he is her "husband"....so hands off! Not too many men visiting on her floor...she is one of the only patients to have a spouse visiting ....When me or my siblings are around and refer to him as dad....She is very confused ...she doesn't remember ever having children with this man. There are four of us.


Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
Bracknell area
I was just wondering if anyone elses parent with dementia thinks their spouse is actually their dad or mum? My poor mum calls my dad who is her husband her dad!

Very common.

It will be relatively easy to do what we do and identify ourselves when we enter the room, eg Hi mum ...it's (my name) here come to see how you are ...how are you feeling ?

Also I am planning to get some table place mats (bigger than coasters) which have photos of the family

If you see anxiety from your mum through not recognising, then recommend speak to GP to get anxiety meds