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Reliving Memories


Registered User
May 14, 2006
At the moment my Mum is actually reliving her memories of the Second World War as if it were all happening right now. She was 13 or 14 when the war started and after being evacuated briefly, returned to London to work in an aeroplane factory and was caught up in the Blitz. She is talking about the "Blow outs" when strong winds blew all the windows out and the tiles were stripped from the roof tops. It is quite uncanny, especially when she says that the glass has all been cleared up.! She also remembered an incident accurately from 30 years ago, that I'd completely forgotten about.
On the other hand Mum has no idea what time of day it is or which season and she thinks I've had 20 dogs(only four) and four children(only two). It is weird seeing Mum as if she was a teenager or young woman, and sometimes I think she is acting as if I was her sister, although she always calls me by name.
It is confusing when Mum can talk quite clearly and sensibly about some things and then speaks nonsense. Sometimes she even makes jokes and then I don't know whether she's being serious or trying to wind me up.
Do other people experience these kinds of contradictions or is it just my Mum? She keeps forgetting she can't walk and tries getting up, but one day she might fall again. At least she talks to people in her NH and other residents visit her in her room.
I wonder if people who no longer talk, still relive their memories in their imagination or not?


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Not infrequently my Mother confuses me with her sister. As you say, she always knows my name, but sometimes the context is wrong. She asks me things only her sister (or a contemporary) would know. I was really confused for a while before I realized what was happening - long conversations about where item A had gone, with me having no recollection of item A (and wondering if I was getting really forgetful)! Now I know what's happening, I don't find that as distressful as when she forgets that both her siblings are dead, and we have to go all through that again. Not that she's particularly upset about them being dead, but she gets upset that she can't remember. Actually, she consistently forgets that people and pets have died - wherever feelings of grief are stored in the brain appears to be where most of the damage is.

I don't know whether it's dementia in general, or vascular dementia in particular, but time is definitely flexible - she sometimes asks how old she it, and is shocked to be told she's 89, but also relieved - an 89 year old can be expected to have some difficulty with walking! Generally, she thinks she's around the 60 ish mark.



Registered User
May 14, 2006
This morning my Mum seemed almost back to her old self and we had a sensible conversation, with Mum asking after my daughter and her new house and even remembering about her horse.
Then, Mum told me about a dream she had, where she thought her house had turned green overnight but no one else did, so she painted it green herself so everyone would agree with her!
I tried to get her to do a word search, which she used to enjoy, but she had absolutely no idea what it was all about. After what seemed like a normal, quiet visit, I said I needed to leave for work. Mum said that she thought she was going out for a walk with me, even though she is unable to walk. She thought I was taking her home.
It almost seems worse when they are looking so well and seem so much better and more settled.


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Hi Kayla

Mum frequently gets her memories all mixed up now. She thinks I'm her sister and I'm sure she thinks she's only abot 18 or 19. Just today, she asked me to take her to her mums (Gran died about 30 years ago!) She forgets that I go into see her, and is always telling my brother that she's never seen me, and then she's always saying to me that she hasn't seen my brother!!

I persist in playing Rummikub with her - a couple of times she seems to remember part of the game, but what does surprise me is that she has no problems with counting. When I ask her if she has a run of 30, she has no problems in counting up the numbers. And although she can count money, she has no concept of it's worth and oftern gives me 10p to buy something nice with!! If only!!?!



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi all, I can relate to this. Lionel - on his return from respite said he was going to stay with my 2 sisters..........fine, except I have no sisters.

He told my dear godmother that he had been married 3 times, and, he did not marry all the girls he lived with.............He has only ever had one wife....and then me.

These thoughts are so real to him.

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