not my mum!


Registered User
Jul 8, 2004
Near Bristol
Does anyone else find that caring for a relative is caring for a stranger?
My mum is not my mum anymore. I am caring for a little old lady who sometimes makes me angry, cross, upset and somehow detached.


Registered User
Jul 4, 2004

I can sympathise exactly how you feel. I have given up work to care for my mother in law who is 78 with alzeimers. We have always got on and the rest of the family wanted her to go into a nursing home rather than move in with us but we wanted to give it a try as long as we could. She now has no idea who i am except to say i am a nice lady who is kind to her, she calls me any name she can remember but never my own name and does not even know me as her daughter in law and someone she has dined with every sunday for 20 years. She can be aggressive at times and i sometimes wonder why i am putting myself through this hassle and stress between family members as we all try to cope.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
I think most people feel that the person with dementia is in some/many ways a stranger.

If I can remember a time when Jan was herself, and objectively compare her with her condition now, I would say she is a complete stranger.


maybe it is me, but I feel that we are separated by a massively distorting mirror. Jan is herself behind it, but what I see of her is just contorted by a huge thickness of bent glass.

Sometimes, briefly, the glass clears, and I get a glimpse of her, then it all goes strange again.

I do what I do so that, on an occasion when the glass clears for both of us, she can see I am there for her.

Maybe this illness drives us all a little mad. Or more than a little.


Registered User
Jun 1, 2004
Rochester, Kent
mirror, mirror on the wall

My Dad is currently in respite care as we, Mum and I, were exhausted chasing after him and trying to stop him from trying to constantly escape! I had posters up at the bus station, the local shopping centre security and his favourite shop Marks and Spencers! I had never expected such kindness from all those concerned in calling me to say he was with either one of them but it was becoming not just a once a day expedition, but twice or three times each day.
He has only been there in care for three days but it seems an eternity and I wonder if he will ever want to come out. He hasn't asked me to take him home yet! Dad is there for two weeks. He is no longer my dad, I cannot deter him anymore for wanting to go out without me so this has been my only alternative.

I wonder how much they really are seeing and like you say Bruce who is the sane one out of us all!!!

Take care every one it is a hard battle.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Your comments about your Dad and his escaping caused me to remember someone who is in Jan's home.

I call him Steve McQueen, after the actor in The Great Escape.

He needs, so we are led to believe, a walking frame to be able to get around, and all the time he shuffles around the large conservatory that leads to the front door of the care home, awaiting an escape opportunity.

Frequently he can be found OUTSIDE the front door - despite a complex 3 handle mechanism that challenges the best of us, and that requires two hands and a foot to operate. Once he has gone into escape mode his walking frame [clearly an advanced one] goes into warp mode and it takes someone very sprightly to catch him.

As they try and help him back in, suddenly his legs appear to become jelly, and the walking frame becomes a fixed object.

He is not sad at the home - he just has this instinct to be someplace else. I take my hat off to him because of his fierce determination and good humour and unwillingness to be constrained.


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Bugsy,

A couple of years ago my Aunt and Uncle had to go into a Care Home. My cousin has a full time job and was also going to their house 3 times or more a day to look after them and it just became too much for her to handle.

My Aunt was admitted to the Care Home first of all and my cousin and her father used to visit on a twice daily basis. Shortly after that, my Uncle's condition deteriorated so much that he too was placed in care, fortunately in the same home so that they could be together. He was still very mobile.

The Unit to which they had been admitted was a locked door EMI Unit. My Uncle, although suffering from AD, had memorised the pass codes for the doors from the time that he was only a visitor. He just let himself in and out whenever he pleased! It was only when he was found wandering around one day that everyone realised what he was up to. The Home actually had to change the pass key pad to stop him going out on excursions by himself.

It's just amazing how much he could recall when desperate to escape. He became very cross and introverted when he was no longer able to get out by himself, which was very sad but he was becoming a danger to himself and others by crossing roads without looking for traffic.

Best wishes, Jude

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