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Today Dad Entered a New Stage

sabearkat

Registered User
Jun 5, 2015
1
My Mom called me today to tell me that my Dad asked who she was yesterday. Later in the day, he asked her again, if her name was Marilyn.....which is not close. She told me not to be shocked if he doesn't recognize me or know my name this weekend. My wife doesn't understand my sadness this evening. I told her that today signaled the day every son or daughter fears most, and that the parent I have known all my life may not be the same person when I see him in a few days. Having him tell me the same story 3 times seems so trivial compared to him possibly not knowing who I am.
In a few days, I will let him tell me 20 times about his first tractor.............but, God, please let him know my name.
 

ElizabethAnn

Registered User
Jan 4, 2014
189
Northumberland
Hello sabearkat,
welcome to talking point, you will find lots of understanding & helpful advice here...

I too remember that fear, but found in Mum's case that the first time she wasn't sure who I was ("what makes you think I'm your Mum?") was by no means the end of our Mother/Daughter relationship. There are lots of good days and as long as I "get into her world" we still have plenty of laughs.

A lot of the good times are around remembering things from my childhood, which she often remembers better than I do. But even everyday things that are not memory related (the garden, the weather, or anything else that she happens to be aware of) are opportunities for enjoying ourselves together, as long as I remember not to question, correct or disagree...

My main aim when I visit is for us to laugh together :)

One of the best short articles I read (and continue to read at frequent intervals) is the one about compassionate communication that is posted on Talking Point:

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?30801-Compassionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

I feel for your Mom too, not only is she worrying about your Dad, but she's worrying about you too...

If this is a sudden change, it may be worth checking for a UTI ? Any infection throws Mum completely until it's cleared.

I hope your weekend visit goes better than you hope...

Elizabeth.
 

Fred Flintstone

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
133
S. E. England
sabearkat,

Welcome to Talking Point, I hope you may find it a useful resource in times to come.

My first thought is that in elderly people, sometimes the only symptom of pneumonia is confusion, or of a bladder infection is a combination of confusion and hallucinations. Has your mother thought to take a specimen of urine in a sterile pot to their GP's, or to ask a doctor to sound out your father's chest?

Of course, a diagnosis of dementia may be well-established, but infections of the sort I describe above can cause time-limited exacerbations.

I hope to hear from you again,
Fred
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,933
South coast
Mum doesnt know my name now and usually thinks that I am her mum, but she knows that I am family and her face lights up when she sees me.
 

Roses40

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
473
manchester
It appears that you are preparing yourself for an emotional visit soon. Just incase you haven't seen the compassionate communication link yet please take a moment to realise that your emotional bond is still there even if she doesn't recognise you in your usual role. Pls do the link thing someone please. Love Rose x
 

betsie

Registered User
Jun 11, 2012
252
He may not remember your name but he will remember that he loves you, knows you well and feels safe with you.
If you had asked my dad who I was he would not have known my name or that I was his daughter, but when ever I saw him I would call out "hello dad" he always looked up, he definitely remembered my voice, even at the end.
 

Tracey100

Registered User
Jun 10, 2015
1
My mum is now 6 years since diagnosis. She has no idea I am her daughter, but I am a familiar face to her. When she see's me she's smiles, she finds me familiar, she holds my hand and walks with me. These are special times.
 

DivingDavey

Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
32
Solihull
Thanks for the post on compassionate communication, what an excellent post!

My mother has recently stopped saying my name when I visit her, but her face does light up and she sometimes knows who I am (although I don't think she has any idea I am her son).

It is really sad but like Elizabeth Ann I still manage to get a few laughs and smiles out of her and I know she feels comforted when I am there.

I don't think many people understand just how special the times are that Tracey100 describes.
 

Jaxx23

Registered User
Mar 15, 2012
22
I still find it very sad that my mum doesn't know my name, but then she doesn't know that I am her daughter either. But she is familiar with me, feels safe with me as I am a regular in her life. I have discovered that I have to join her in her world, and if we can have a laugh or do something together, then that makes me happy. Sadly we have to move with them, doesn't mean we cant make new memories, and make them happy...
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,545
Kent
I found it most hurtful when my husband didn`t know me and went looking for his real wife.

Once he passed through this stage, he might not have known my name, he might not have known I was his wife, but he did know me and for that I was grateful.
 

Jenn

Registered User
Feb 24, 2009
50
Leeds
My Mum doesn't know who I am, she knows I'm this friendly person who turns up from time to time and has a chat. For a long time she used to say `how is your mother?' and I'd say `But you are my Mother!' and we'd both have a laugh. And then she'd say `what about your other Mother?'
One morning I had a very strange conversation with her as she clearly thought I was an old childhood friend. She was asking after my younger sister who had been apparently terribly ill with diptheria and nearly died - I thought did people still get diptheria in the 1930s?
I don't mind her not knowing really, as long as she's happy that's the thing. Maybe I would feel differently if it was my husband in that situation.
 

Long-Suffering

Registered User
Jul 6, 2015
425
You may find your dad's memory of who you are comes and goes. That's how it's been with mine for about a year. It seems to be worse at night or on certain days when he just can't remember or do anything, then the next day he remembers. He has variously thought I was his sister, his mum, his friend or just "that girl". He's the same with mum. I don't find it upsetting, oddly enough, because I was expecting it and also because whoever he thinks I am he is always pleased to see me. He remembers that I am a person he likes, whatever my name is. I actually find it very touching when he sits and proudly tells me all about his "lovely" daughter, not realising it's me. :) Bless him. He also doesn't recognise pictures of me when I was young anymore. That's constant now. He only recognises recent pictures and sits and talks to them. He says the picture talks back to him :)