Help, my Mother doesn't know who I am!

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I am Mom's only caregiver, have 4 siblings that do not help. She thinks I am someone else, she thinks I am lying to her all the time. She has dementia, but the last 2 months has gone down fast. I am referred to by her as THEY. She wanders where I am when I am sitting next to her, I have cared for her for 3 years 7 days a week. She hit me hard last nite when I was putting her gown on her. She tells me to go find that daughter that takes care of her. I am at my wits end, I need answers. The doctor put her on the Exelon patch thursday but she is worsening every minute. One of my sisters called her this AM and she whispered to her to call the police to get me out of there. She has completely lost it. I need advice.


LU - If it were my mom, i'd call her doctor immediately and ask for an appointment to run some tests - perhaps she's having a drug interaction or UTI. It might also be that she's finally hit the point where she won't know any of you. When my grandma got to that point she though my mom was her sister - until Mom held up a handmirror while she sat next to grandma, then grandma talked to the reflection of BOTH of them like it was her daughter... totally weird.. Anyway - if there's no physical cause for this, perhaps it's best that you find a spot for her to live then visit her often. Hopefully, she'll remember you then. I know it's hard to move them after you've cared for them for so long but if she's starting to hit you, she could be capable of greater violence and YOU need to protect yourself. # years is a long time to put in, take care of YOU too. Best of luck,
Thank you Lynn, the doctor has run testing for urinary tract infection, none found. She has been on the same medication since 2006, no changes in meds, She started acting violent and belligerent before he put her on the Exelon Patch. The past three months she has referred to me as "They". Now she is thinking there are 8 women who take care of her (I am the only one). She thought I moved her bed and furniture out of her house yesterday to an empty house up the street, she now says she wants to go back to her house. No furniture was moved. She refused to eat her dinner last night and threw the plate (full of food) across the room. She is imaging that I have disconnected her phone, which I haven't. I am afraid to leave her because she has stated that she would take all her medicine and kill herself, burn the house down, everything dramatic you can think of. I promised her 3 years ago I would take care of I am thinking she needs to be placed in a resthome (which I dread to do), however I absolutely cannot stand seeing her this way, The other sisters say for me to do what I think is right, it seems they don't have time or either don't care, I am at wits end and feel like I am carrying a heavy burden that I can no longer do. Again, thank you for commenting, I need someone to talk to about this, and I greatly appreciate you kind words. Lewanne
my heart goes out to you and understand this situation mom has a 95% blockage in her right carotid so this attributes it to her confusion does he have blockages?? also understand the no help from siblings i have one sister doesn't visit or do anything...also...they prescribed my mom resperdal helped her with her "episodes"..remember ton breath, count to ten before responding or reacting to your mom because she doesn't know what she is doing...and most of all keep praying...i have been staying wth mom almostn 2 yrs and understand completely what you are dealing with..hang in there and keep inn touch....lucy
My heart goes out to you i can relate to you well. my mom didn't know me any more or my sister. i ahd a hard time getting her to wah herself she wouldnt get dressed i couldnt get any nursing help at all. yet and still i had my one friend help me out to bathe mom and dress her she never wanted me bathe her or dress her acppted my firned tohelp her out . I know what your going through. I had to put mymom in nusrsing home back in November her demenstai alz got worce she was ikn the later stages of it it got so hard thatno-one couldnt handle her anymore when i finally had one nusrsing agency come to my place she was agressive with the nurse she wouldnt let her check her heart or bp. that weekend nov 8 she kept falling i had to take her to the hospital I told the social workers i wanted to put her in a rehab nursing facility she was admitted permittly Ilost her Deceber 10. she died from alz demstia at 92 yrs old.. i know its hard have you tried talking to the alz associattion? or going to any of the support groups? they have counselloers ther you cvan call on 25 hours i spoke to the alot I didnt get a chance to get to any of the support groups . hang in there. i wish you well.
I am conserened about the violance. As far as the memories some times looking at old photos helps, to show her who you are. But it does sound like she needs to go to an alshimers home. There are special nursing homes just for alshimers patainets. And as for the siblings, I have the same problem and have just relised some peopel can handel care giving and some can't. You are the angel on earth in your family, and you have a special gift of careing that no others in your family have. But angel or not you still have a life to lead, and don't feel quilty if you do put her in a home. Relise we all have our limitations. big hug and god bless
We went through that with my daddy before he hit the end stage of Alzheimers and to my mom I am now "that woman that works here" quite often. Not all the time yet but I know it will come as it did with Daddy.

It sounds like you are stuggling with the stress - I can also identify with that! That said, only you can say when the time comes that you can no longer handle it. Remember that what you have done for your mom to this point in her life is wonderful! Life is too short however for you to put your own life at risk because you still have many years to enjoy.

I agree that the violence is the concern. If it is just combative but not hurtful that is one thing but if it escalates and injury will be a concern, then it might be best for you to move her into an Alheimer's Unit.

My husband and I have had these discussions and as Mom continues to slowly decline, we continue to talk about it so that we stay on the same page. If you have a husband, a sibling or a friend that you can talk it out with, try to do so and don't feel guilty! Again, remember that what you have done so far is wonderful!

If you have not been in contact with them yet, you might also reach out to the Alheimer's folks at

I wish you well in this journey!
Ruth does not remember me. i can go outside and smoke, come right back in and she has no idea who I am. I get called, Mama, Laney, Mary, Oma( German for Grandmother) and some choice names I will not say. I just go to her world. It is useless to try to get her to remember who I am. Right now we are having the nightly conversation of where is she going to sleep, the door needs to be locked, where am I going to sleep. We do this for at least four hours, sometimes, like tonite, i am very tired. So am having to ignore some of it because I will use a tone with her that will only escalate the situation. God Bless us all
we all have so many similar things going on....i too go to my mom's is hard, but the less stress better for her...we are strong people to be doing this and remember we are in this together, i may not know each of you personally but on a different level we know each other very mom continues to decline as well, she will have a stent put in on march 1...not sure how that will effect her....i will be praying for you all...god does answer, sometimes we just don't know it.
My mom has been living with my brotherand his wife for 5 years now. I recently moved closer to help him as she is needing feminen help now..I knew for about a year her memory was getting worse but nothing like what i have experianced these past three monthes. I have been doing my best to deal with the fact she says i am not her daughter. To beat it all. I am the only one she does not recignise. There are 6 of us total. I was in her life more off and on as an adult than 2 family members where.. but i am the only one she does not consider her daughter.. Did my life as a child have that much less meaning to her. I wasn't the oldest. I wasn't the youngest i wasn't the first son or daughter nor one of the twins. I feel my life had very little significance to her to not remember me only. I was the middle child. She gets very upset when she ask how i know my brother.. how i knew what year she was born. How do i know her mother. It is very confusing to her. This is the first i have noticed for a parent to only not know one child of 6 births. I am trying to just blow it off. Keep in mind she can't help it. It is so very hard to accept i have lost my mother and she is sitting at the table with me talking to me like i am a friend of the family or something. Trust me i want to do all i can to help with mom, but today i am affraid it took the cake. I was yelled at, at a family bbq. for butting in on her personal family business. I joined in on a family conversation that we have often when we are all together, Nothing seriuos just family talk. I cried so hard. Told my brother i love her and you very much but this is just way to hard for me. Now i am crying and and cannot stop. I truelly have lost my mom......
How very sad for you, notmydaughter. You go ahead and cry. It is important to recognize and mourn our losses along the way with dementia. By the time our loved one dies we may be all cried out. That is OK.

Does your mother have Alzheimer's or some other kind of dementia? The pattern of memory loss is different from one kind to another. Your mother has not forgotten you because your life had little significance to her. Really! Although it feels extremely personal, this is not about you. It is about tangles or plaques or abnormalities in your mother's brain. You are right that she can't help it, but wrong to think that means she has loved you less or that you were less important to her.

I wonder if it would work better to just go along with her. Don't try to convince her that you are her daughter. Call her by her first name. Tell her you know about the family because you know one of her daughters well. Perhaps tell her that you have lost your own mother and you are glad to have her in your life. If she wonders where "that daughter that takes care of me" is, tell her she couldn't come today but you'll help her.

I think the loss of the ability to recognize loved ones is one of the very saddest aspects of dementia. You go ahead and mourn!

A book with many, many tips for caregivers whose loved one does not recognize them is "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey. It may provide some comfort to you to know that you are not alone and to have some ways to share moments of joy with your mother, whether she knows you or not.

Hugs to you, loving daughter.

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