Dementia... Sometimes I swear Mom's remembers certain things that slip my mind!!!

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Mom was diagnosed with Cognative Impairment Dementia and stabilized with medication approximately 4 years ago. During the first year after her treatment and 24/7 care need had taken affect she I found out was pretty sharp didn't miss a trick manipulated me.somehow, because I was unaware of her ability to focus on "her mission of importance". Almost like a 2 year old, unaware of danger, nonpunishable, wanting to do things I wouldn't let her regardless of consequences. So she would focus on how to get what she wanted at any risk and hide evidence. She has been at a NH for 3 years now adjusted quite well. For the most part she's confused but seems happy. Lately I noticed a new memory/short term with clearly a consistency but not repetition by habit only. I'll explain... she does not need winter coats and she had a million all types colors etc. they happen to fit me perfectly so I naturally wear them. Her thing was always clothes, well dressed lady. So when she see's me she always recognizes me but it's always a guessing game on my end of which relative she thinks I am as I greet her. So I feel it out and play the part, I'm getting really good at acting.
BUT she without fail says that's my coat! The first couple times it was the same coat so I just thought she took a lucky guess. She said "but you can wear it today.'" The next time she said it "she added I said you could wear it once not keep it." The third time "Your wearing my coat again...I told you I want it back" So I then went there with a leather jacket not thinking about any of this...Mom say's "You got a new coat, it's nice I like it" I said "yes " Shocked that she said that and remembered again...I'm thinking... oh yeah , the coat thing... luckily she doesn't know it's hers.. few!!! 2 seconds after my thought she says "Hey that's mine too!" Thinking quickly I said no you have almost the same one. I got this just yesterday for Christmas. She bought the lie, she always knows when I am lying I distracted her with ice cream..
So I am really wondering if anyone else has seen a noticeable change in clarity such as this, after long term treatment and stable surroundings have been consistent, She know knows I am the ice cream lady.


That is really interesting! I have no idea if that is common or not with dementia but I do know the brain is a weird and wacky thing! I know stress can really effect memory and the ability to think. Maybe she is more stressed out about recognizing people and so she cannot think straight but clothes, something that has always made her happy, keeps her calm and clear headed. Just a total guess here. My daughter has mental retardation but has the memory of an elephant. That girl can recall things from when she was 3! And knew her letters at 3 though she could not talk-she would point to magnets I said aloud!!( she is 16, now) but try and get her to wrap a present and she cannot figure out where to put the tape to hold the ends together. The brain is such a mystery!!! I know that is off subject but your story just made me think about how strange the brain works at times.

It is nice that she thinks you are the ice cream lady! :0)
MisdhkaM Thanx for your post, it's not off the subject it is entirely the subject!!! See I have come to the conclusion that my Mothers personality is not lost just altered. I just look at the simple traits that are unique to her and o into her world. She communicates in a Motherly way by setting boundaries on the coat and it being hers not mine. I just had a thought, since I am wearing the coat routinely this may be why she remembers it. I just had another thought, an experiment if you will. I should see if another person wears the coat if she recognizes it. I'll do it ...let you know. I wonder if you put numbers on the tape and spots the tape goes on a present and say to your daughter now take the #1 piece of tape and put it were #1 spot is on the gift she'll get it.
Hi! Good idea about the tape! She is fiercely independent -a great thing !-except she hates for me to tell her how to do things -even if she needs the help. If I per number the papers before I give it to her she will feel independent! Of course ,I do not want to wrap another present for awhile-glad the holidaze are over quite honestly!, but I can use normal paper just for her to practice on. She loves tape!
You will have to tell me about your experiment with your Mom. Did she recognize her coat? I like the idea that her personality is not lost just altered. She is still your Mom. :0)
MishkaM There's a saying or quote... The aren't any problems only solutions!!! Mom didn't even notice my coat today because she was listening to music. Distraction by music, overrules ice cream too, it's like rock, paper, scissors. Ice cream beats everything but music. Mom telling me she's the boss beats music, but not ice cream I am the boss when I have ice cream, unless there's music before ice cream.... Observation #1 LOL
My mom, in a nursing home now with dementia, always knows us and details of where we live, etc. She remembers who brought certain items for her room, etc. It always amazes me that although she is in severe dementia stages per her physician, that she can remember these things. And, let me add, I feel so blessed that she knows me...
llcrss So glad your Mom remembers you but there may be a time when she may not not. Just remember she's still your Mom and you know her better than the Dr's so you can help them help her. The psychiatric doctor at the NH was asking my Mom questions like how many kids she has and she remembered me but that she was angry with me. I had to explain to the doctor that she was forgetting stuff because she has dementia but she was mad at me because I was her boss for the prior year and hated that, I took her independence... that's my Mom not dementia. I really enlightened the Dr. when I said if you want to know if she's stable and her personality is her own ask her if she likes ice cream if she makes a face like your asking her if she wants poop that's not my Mom. If she smiles and gets sweet and childlike and cooperative that's my Mom. She has not been unstable since I had that talk with the pshyc doctor.
Unfortunately, I don't have dialogue with her doctor. Since she has been in the nursing home, I have spoken to him once since her entry the end of May. He just pretty much told me she will continue to degress, etc. A pretty dismal talk...I have asked others if it's normal for the doctor over long term care to not call sometimes to go over her condition/care. I feel like the doctor is numb to it and shes just another patient nearing the end of her life...
I don't think its uncommon for her to remember you. You see when I brought my mom home with me she remembered me. But after being here for almost 5 months she doesn't realize that i am her daughter. I think because she see's me as a caregiver. She isn't even aware she is living in my home. She has declined considerably. But she does remember my Twin Sister and my brother in law. They don't come visit very often but she always recognizes them when they walk in the door.
And after a month of being here she started to notice the buffet and diningroom table that she gave me years ago. Then did you get this? it's mine! I just went along with it and said yes it's yours and all your things are here because you live here. Its always better to play the game with her than to argue and get frustrated.
msdaizy thanx for your input and you are probably right about your Mom recognizing you as her care giver now. I am wondering if you and your twin look alike and if she ever asks you were "you" are by name, as if your missing. I am now playing the part of Mom's cousin. I have a birthmark on my chin and one day quite a while ago she thought I was hurt or bruised and asked what happened, that day (never aain has she asked) I knew she had no idea I was "me". Most people that know me well,say they don't see it anymore (it's just part of me). So I know somewhere in there my Mom recognizes me as me she is just confused about our relationship/roles.
llcrss I was very confused about the work details of the staff at the NH. Who does what and who to talk to about the problems or situations that affect my Mom. The people who know your Mom the best are the aides. The aids have to get them dressed, showered, make sure they eat, the daily battles that they need assistance with. I feel the aids should get paid the most because if not for them my Mom would be unkempt and dirty and have no guidance. The LPN's give out medication and write down behavioral changes. What the LPN's writes is important because the Dr.'s look at what they write and base their medication according to this info. Then there is the Activities Professionals that see the behavior at fun times and how they respond to stimulating activities. So someone needs to collaborate all this info. If you tell the LPN that your Mom is not dressing that is not the job of the LPN but it is the LPN's job to take notes of this so the Dr's know. I made it known when my Mom first went into the NH that I am not about to tell anyone how to do their job but I want to help them help my Mom. I'm not going to complain unless there is something to complain about. BUT... I will complain if I am not heard and Mom is mistreated or neglected. I don't know their job but I do know my Mom and I can help them. You should read the patients rights and admittance documents. There is also a RN Nurse in charge of communicating your concerns between the Dr's and LPN's. You can set up meetings with the social worker to have all the parties together at once.
I dialogue with the head RN only. I am the main DPOA and it's sometimes pulling teeth to get info. I just got a call from the hospice nurse today and she informed me my mom had lost 13 lbs in the last month. The NH was supposed to contact me if she had sufficient weight loss. What to do...

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