My mom thinks that I am two different people. How can I convince her there is only one "me"?

Asked by

Recently my mom has been confused about her daughter (me) and says there are 2 of me. I can't convince her otherwise. If I try to tell her there is only one of me, she laughs and says we are tricking her! I don't want to play along forever but she may forget about later. This has been going on for about a three-week period of time. Help!

Love love this web site. Tonio

Answers 1 to 10 of 12
Has she been checked for a UTI? I know infections can cause confusion in many people. Also, has been diagnosed with any kind of dementia/alz? Since this just started, time is of the essence to get her to a doctor and see what's going on.
Top Answer
If your mom's confusion is part of a dementia related issue, there isn't much benefit to correcting her on this or any other area of confusion. Take a deep breath and go with the flow. As Nancy has suggested, get her checked out. How old is she? Are there other related challenges she is facing?

After a few infections, my Mom took a slippery slope down hill. Here we are 18 months later and she often calls me by name but at other times introduces me as her sister. Heck, she was VERY close to that sister so I am taking it as a compliment! My Mom is in her late 90s so I feel blessed that she was all right for so many years. But I have learned not to correct her. In her world, her brothers and sisters are alive and well and she is living in her girlhood home. She is always smiling and laughs a lot. Why would I want to tell her I'm not her sister? Or that she no longer lives in that home she grew up in? She is reliving her childhood and seems happy.
I agree with Nancy and geewiz. It is time for a thorough evaluation. Be sure the doctor is aware of this delusion.

Odd as it seems, the belief that there are multiple copies of a person is an identified delusion. Try looking up "Reduplicative Paramnesia" and see if this strikes a chord with you. In any case, I don't think this is a do-it-yourself project, and there really is no way to just reason a person out of the belief.

I hope you have good success with getting medical guidance regarding what is going on with your mother.
I would first take her to the doctor to get a checkup. I can relate somedays my Mom thinks I'm her Mom. My Mom has dementia so I just let her be. I say I'm your daughter and she says no your not etc. Its hard at first to deal with it but your there for her and thats all that matters. You know who you are and if she thinks you are two different people at least she is recognizing you in someway. Somedays when my daughter comes in her room we go thru this your my Mother and thats my daughter and she will say oh your my mother and shes my daughter etc. I feel like we are doing a Whos on First episode. All in all I wish you the best for you and your Mother. And yes with medical attention you can find out whats going on with your Mom. Good Luck to you. Take Care
My 85 year old Mother thinks there are four of us daughters (there are two, me, Annette, and Jennifer my younger sister). She's always asking me if I talked to the "girls", when I say what girls, she sais Jennifer and Annette. I say I'm Annette---she is so confused. She has Aphasia and dimentia, I'm just going along with it now, I say yes I talked to "them" they are fine.etc. I think she is getting the younger us confused with the adult us, so she thinks there are two sets of us. It is hard, I understand. Good luck, and as always this site it good in letting you know you are not alone in this what seems to be a long battle.
If she is happy with "both" of you, consider yourself me, myself and I! Please don't think I am making light of your situation! I can relate. My mom who has PCA will ask, " Now, who are you, again?" . She referred to her husband as, " the guy who sits in that red chair". Then she laughs cause she knows who "the guy" is but the brain connection for his name has mysteriously disfunctioned. We have learned not to take it personally, just like her inability to feed herself, control her bowels, and all of the other losses she has suffered with this disease. God bless you.
My mom had dementia and I guess it progressively got worse since in the beginning she knew who I was and then from time to time forget. Like Robale, she would think I'm her mother, or like aeRick54 would ask about her daughters - which I am one of her two daughters. I would go along with it as well. It's less confusing for them. If they can't SEE the difference they probably can't COMPREHEND the difference. When mom would ask for her mother or father - (mom was 95) I'd say everybody's in bed and asleep - or if earlier - they're at their home. Sometimes I would explain to her that her mother would be 120 years old - she went to heaven a long time ago. Then she'd say to me "" she did not"". So Keep it simple, try the truth. When I tried to 'unravel' her concerns she would get frustrated, annoyed and sometimes cry. I think realizing her confusion would then scare her. I wanted her to feel ''safe''. I don't condone lying - but when it's 'your' family member and you connect with them and this allows them peace of mind - comfort them. If they are more alert --handle your response according to their level of understanding.
Welcome to the club....my mom does the same thing. She will be talking to me (we live together) and she will say "Oh Terri likes to read also" and when I say mom I am Terri she'll just kind of look at me. As long as she knows that you are someone she trusts I say just go with it. Now when mom says things to the effect that "Terri likes to walk the dog and so do you" I'll answer with yes we have a lot in common.
Rolling on the floor, tltimme. Yes, you have a lot in common. Thanks for the laugh.
jeannegibbs, I have to laugh because I am too tired to cry. I'm just happy that she knows that I'm someone who will take care of her.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support