1. MelanieJane

    MelanieJane New member

    Dec 14, 2019
    Hi, this is my first post on here.
    I’ve recently moved my 86 year old Mum in with me as I think she has the beginnings of dementia and wasn’t dealing well with living alone.
    It’s ok at the moment, I have become her carer more or less and we get on very well. Her short term memory is fading fast.
    Just recently she spoke to me about me as if she was talking to someone else and kept mentioning my name. In a positive light I hasten to add.
    Not long afterwards she asked me if I had ever been married which I just replied, yes twice and she said so have I.
    Of course she would have known I was married, she was there although it was about 30 years ago.
    I can’t get my Mum assessed till next month.
    Is this behaviour amongst other things , typical of early dementia?
    Sorry for the essay but I could have said a lot more!

    Thank you
    Melanie x
  2. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    South East
    Hi, welcome to Tp from me , you might not get too many replies as it’s late , more people be about later in the morning . It is quite normal yes unfortunately , good to hear you are getting along ok at the moment . Make sure you get things in place early though like Lpa would be my advice . See what benefits mum is entitled to as well . Glad you found this forum as there is lots of support and good advice from the members. Keep posting .
  3. MelanieJane

    MelanieJane New member

    Dec 14, 2019
    Hi, thanks for your quick reply , this forum seems great for getting moral support and knowing that we aren’t struggling alone x
  4. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @MelanieJane, welcome to the forum. It could be a sign of dementia, what you have described is fairly common place unfortunately and can come as a bit of a shock when it first happens. Was it later on in the day that Mum became confused? Does she sometimes not recognise her surroundings? It would be sensible to get Mum assessed but try not to worry to much about that. How are you and Mum coping at the moment? All the best.
  5. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    Hi @MelanieJane, and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Everyone is really supportive and you'll get some great advice too.
    I agree with @Woohoo and get Lasting Power of Attorney sorted very soon if you haven't already. You can do it via a solicitor which is what we did with our mum as that's what she wanted or do it yourself. More information here https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney. This needs to be done quickly as if your mother gets to the stage where she hasn't got capacity any more you won't be able to do it.
    I'd also write down anything that you notice that is a concern and send these concerns in ahead of time to the assessment. I just discretely gave mum's GP a letter when I went to an appointment with her or you could email them ahead. In mum's case that meant the GP could ask the questions that showed something was awry, because at the time, getting on for two years ago, she was still very good at the sort of mini memory tests they use as a starter to see if there are problems.
    As for referring to you in the third person and forgetting your past this is very common, and happened to my mother too. I think memory a bit like an old reel to reel tape recorder that's developed a fault. When you try to play tapes the words become less distinct and run into each other at first, then whole sections drop out, finally long parts of the tape disappear, and gradually those wiped parts get bigger and bigger. However every now and again something seems to play again an odd word or so. In my mum's case I noticed a few years back that she was starting to mix up memories so one story would be joined on to a completely different. one. There would be some sort of connection so if you didn't know mum it made sense. Having heard all her stories over the years I knew it wasn't quite right. About fourteen months ago the last twenty years of her life became much less certain too her. She couldn't remember my brother was married for instance, despite having spent a week in Greece celebrating the wedding, she also though some things she'd done with my brother she'd done with my dad even though he was dead by then.
    Since then her memory loss has gone further back in time, and this has happened fairly rapidly. She forgot I was married, forgot my dad was dead and now she often talks about visiting her parents whom she is worried about. Mum is ninety one and her dad was in his fifties when she was born. He died in 1962 and her mum in 1977. She also can't quite work out my relationship to her and thinks I'm her sister. I'm not all together sure she remembers my name, but she knows I'm important.
    Mum is in a care home and has been since May. She has declined very rapidly, which might be partly from being in the home, but even so I'd get all the legal stuff in place while you can with your mother. Also start looking at what sort of support is out there. Would your mum like going to day centres or clubs?
  6. Tea and. toast

    Tea and. toast Registered User

    May 8, 2019
    #6 Tea and. toast, Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Hello Melanie Jane. Welcome to the forum.I am relatively new to the forum but find it so useful and comforting in a funny sort of way. I look after my Dad who has a diagnosis. Dad sometimes replies in the third person ie he has to get up and get washed rather than I and even said "she" the other day. He also talks about me in the third person too sometimes.

    Woohoo and others have given great advice. I have LPA and carers since February to help with Dad after a nurse referred me to Adult Social Care for support.I work part time and I was finding it hard to get Dad up and washed and I would pop home at lunchtime to make sure he had ate his sandwiches. I got in touch with the local Carers Centre and Dementia Support Worker who provided support for me and information on services for Dad. Dad has a trial with a Befriender from the Carers Centre so hopefully that will work out although it is for 6 months.
  7. Splashing About

    Splashing About Registered User

    Oct 20, 2019
    Hi Melanie

    Do get the LPOA sorted ASAP because it becomes impossible to do so https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney later on and causes no end of problems. Get both..financial and health and welfare.

    My experience of dementia has been that the most help has come from charities like this and other carers. There isn’t an obvious clear diagnosis, treatment, management and outcome scenario. It’s very different for everyone which makes it hard to get answers from professionals. One thing that remains the same is that carers become isolated and exhausted. So have a plan for keeping yourself well
  8. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
  9. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    I think it's pretty common yes from what i have read and heard about dementia and what I experience with my mum who has Alzheimers. My mum often talks to me about me like I'm someone else, in her more with it moments she has admitted she doesn't know who I am sometimes, she knows I'm someone she is close to, someone important, but doesn't recognise me. She has two daughters, I'm the youngest but she sometimes says I'm not me and not my sister either, but the other one, as if she has three kids.
    At night I'm often her mum, which during the night i don't correct her as she struggles to settle at night in bed and i don't want to upset her more by reminding her her mum died 45 years ago.
    The other week I was her brothers first wife who she was friends with about 50 year ago but doesn't see anymore. Then last week I'm a friend who her and my dad used to be very close friends with up to about 30 year ago and my husband is the friends husband. I don't look anything like either of them.
    She tells me sometimes I know you say you are our Andrea but to me I don't think you are. She thinks when she remembers me its from when I was a young adult.
    Sometimes she doesn't realise she has mixed me up and if it doesn't affect anything i go along with it or if it does I just gently say I'm your daughter Andrea mum. But other times it gets quite awkward and she won't believe I'm not them and gets upset and sad or angry about it.
    It can be quite hard to deal with at times as sometimes its a bigger deal than others. But thankfully no matter who mum thinks I am she seems to recognise I'm someone she loves and who loves her and she's safe with. Hopefully this will continue.
    Good luck with your mums assessment x Writing down things that concern you before you go to give to dr or just as a prompt for yourself is a good idea. And so is the LPA, mum doesn't have one, she wouldn't agree there was anything wrong with her for a long time and is worried that we and they (SS) will put her in a home so most of the time won't agree to one. Occassionaly she she says she will as wants me and hubby to look after her finances which we already do unofficially but if we actually got the forms and went to solicitor she would change her mind, so if you can get your mum to agree to one please do as I can see things may get quite difficult for us eventually without one.
    Writing things down will also help with SW assessment and memory nurse as well as drs appointments as they all ask the same things and you have to tell everyone that you see over and over, i think I missed things out at times and as more and more happens you forget some of the things which happen and having a record you can look at before or during appointments can help.
    I didn't find the dr or sw much help apart from diagnosis, most good advice or pointing to services came from local carers service (making spaces) and some leaflets in memory clinic diagnosis folder, but mostly on here from the forums and the alzheimers publications which you can read online, download and print off, or fill in an online request for up to 10 leaflet/books to be sent to you free.
    Good luck with your mum x
  10. MelanieJane

    MelanieJane New member

    Dec 14, 2019
    Hi, thank you so much for your help and advice, it feels like I’m entering a minefield but it has to be done.
    Mum is still very much herself at the moment and seems to have brightened up since she moved in with me but I can see the changes and so can my family.
    Thank you again x
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    She may have thought two of you were present and talking to you about the other one.

    My wife, with LDB, did this all the time with people she knew.
    It was explained as a form of Capgras syndrome although she did not distinguish between the real and the impostor and become aggressive to the impostor accepting it as normal.

  12. Maise29

    Maise29 New member

    Dec 16, 2019
    Wow I could have written your post word for word, my mum seems exactly the same as yours. I do find it hard to know how to respond when she accuses me of not being me and gets angry. It's a very difficult thing to get used to.
  13. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    @Maise29 It sure is hard to get used to. :(
    Just had 3 hours plus of continued talking with mum not knowing who I am and the first hour of it mum was very angry. I got quite annoyed back too, which didn't help things, but I just couldn't keep control as before that I'd already had 2 full on hours at my house of her constantly worrying and repeating about her keys and her address and no amount of calm answers or distraction had worked.
    So wen we came back to mums house we started with an hour of me being her old friend and not her daughter and no matter what I did helped, be it agree and go along with it, try to change subject, try to get her to do something else and give her brain a rest, tell her who I really was, none of it stopped the constant telling and asking the same things of who she thought i was.
    She wouldn't listen and talked over top of me and I got quite snappy with her. So she told me I couldn't be her daughter Andrea because she is gentle and wouldn't shout at her or talk to her like that!
    Unfortunately even after we calmed down a bit and I made her a cup of tea and brought the biscuits she still spent the next two hours asking who I was, who I was married to and telling me I wasn't me, or she didn't know I was married and hadn't seen me for ages. Despite her saying quite a few times that she couldn't remember things and her mind wasnt working properly, and she was sorry she didn't know things, every answer I gave to whatever question she asked was wrong, I was wrong, but still she wouldn't stop asking questions.
    It eventually moved on to her accusing me of not talking to her all evening and getting up and saying she was going to bed with an argument over me ignoring her when we'd not stopped for 3 hours.
    Then she went off to bed chuntering about me in between getting in and out of bef and checking things for half hour and giving me the odd nasty remark in passing.
    Then she started crying in bed so I Went to see her and she was saying how lonely she was and had got nasty with me cos she never sees anyone and shes always on her own. I tried to comfort her saying she not on own i'm here and then she was saying she doesnt know what she's doing and her brain has gone. Eventually she calmed down and we were friends again and I went to bed. But she has been in and out of bed a few times to check things in the past half hour and sometimes called me mum and sometimes got it right and called me Andie.
    I'm hoping we've finally done now and we'll both get some sleep now but I feel like I definately failed tonight.
  14. Vitesse

    Vitesse Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016
    It seems to be a very common situation, unfortunately. A few months ago, my husband told me that his wife had gone, seemingly disappeared one night without a word. I seemed to have slotted in her place. In the last month, that has moved on to a situation where she has died! He is quite happy to have me here to care for him, although he has no idea who I am. He asks me questions like where was I born, what work did I do etc. He sometimes remembers friends but has no idea about me, doesn’t know my name. He will ask me how I know friends we’ve had for years. Also his son came to visit from Thailand a few weeks ago, and sometimes he knew him, other times he had no idea who this strange man was in our home. I try to go with the flow, but it is difficult and heartbreaking.
  15. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @Vitesse, my heart goes out to you, that must be incredibly challenging to deal with, even if it becomes the 'norm' in terms of behavior. I hope you have some family or friends around you to give you support. Stay strong. All the best.
  16. annielou

    annielou Registered User

    Sep 27, 2019
    Aww bless you @Vitesse for keeping on X
    its an awful and as you say heartbreaking thing x
    knowing the person cant help it helps a little to take the pain of them not knowing you away but its also upsetting that they are happy to accept help from you even though think they don't know who you are.
    Hugs x
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I think the way that their thoughts can turn on a sixpence is so disconcerting.
    I remember when mum first started doing this. She had a friend who used to visit everyday and I was glad that she could keep an eye on mum as I was dealing with OH and couldnt visit as often as I would have liked. However, it was really upsetting when she started off by saying how lucky she was to have this friend and how she did so much for her and then, almost in the same sentence, was accusing her friend of stealing from her and ranting on about how she didnt want this friend in her house and begging me to make sure that stayed away from her. It was really upsetting
  18. Splashing About

    Splashing About Registered User

    Oct 20, 2019
    My mum passed through this stage about 2 yrs ago. It was very distressing. I say “passed through” because she stopped asking who we were or getting angry about not knowing and it was as if she knew who we were again for the next 18months. Having said that she hasn’t called me by name for a very long time but there was recognition in her face so I felt sure she knew me.
  19. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    Before I moved my mother to a CH, she would often confuse me, on the phone with my daughter. I have both a son and a daughter but am myself an only child. She would often ask about “my brother” and if I ever met her husband - my father. She talked about family members as though I had never met them and was a complete stranger. Recently, when I visited her in the CH with my uncle (her brother) she was convinced that we were married to each other. My uncle has been widowed for many years but she kept calling me by his late wife’s name.

    She also went through a long phase of being sure that there were other people living in her house with young children. She would tell me they didn’t come home the previous night or she’d not eaten food from the fridge in case it was for them because she believed the house she lived in, actually belonged to them. No amount of convincing would dissuade her from that belief. That was one of the signs that made me realise Mother couldn’t go on living independently as the imaginary residents were starting to control her life.
  20. Vitesse

    Vitesse Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016

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