Mom has signs of Dementia/Alzheimers. How do you deal with her not recognizing her 'stuff'?

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How do you deal with her not recognizing her 'stuff'...she says these are not her things and someone has replaced her things...my only response is "well, they're yours now...enjoy them!"...I'm thankful she still knows me...and I'm finding it harder and harder to keep my sanity with the reasoning with her. She keeps saying "Am I losing my mind?".....so sad...but also frustrating and stressful...

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Yes, it's very sad for both of you. You'll need to learn to cope with the fact that reasoning no longer works. Her reality is different now. I'm so happy that she still recognizes you! That's at least something for now.

As for her "stuff," you may just have to say that it really doesn't matter if she owns it since this is for her use. Yes, that will need to be repeated over and over.

As far as "am I losing my mind?" - So very, very sad. If it's any comfort it's almost easier when the person doesn't know that they are having these issues, and that time will come. You can comfort her best now by not tying to use logic, but go along with her when you can. If she repeats "am I losing my mind?" I'd simply say, not at all. "You are still you. It's just that your dementia has made some kinds of memory and thinking hard for you. That doesn't mean you're losing your mind."

Take care, Kukla77. Please keep coming back to agingcare for support. There are many in this wonderful community who can understand what you are coping with.
Carol
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Love your response. I, too, found I was using too much energy and effort on logic, so I threw that out the window. My new mantra to keep my sanity is "is she safe? is she happy? is she comfortable?" Humor has been extremely helpful for both of us. Yes, this site is great.
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Hi Kukla,

A little tongue in cheek hete, but were you a fan of Fran & Ollie too? Haha, I hope you know what I mean.

Seriously, though, when it comes to your mom, you will find that it's better to reserve your energy and not try to reason with her. Her logic and comprehension are no longer intact. It's a natural instinct to try to explain things to her because you think it will be helpful, but it won't.

Within the path that she's on right now, her memory has substantially decreased while she still has some awareness. It will be easier when she passes out of that phase and has less awareness.

My mom wasn't as nice about it as yours is, asking if she's losing her mind. My mom was adamant and vocal that she wasn't "crazy" because she couldn't remember things.

What I'd tell my mom might work for yours - mom, weed live so long, there are too many things to remember, and sometimes we just forget some of them. Somehow it made her feel better when I join her club as I pretended to forget things too. It used to aggravate her that I could remember things and she couldn't, so I just stopped telling her what I remembered.

Sometimes you feel as if you'll lose yourself in doing that, but you never do. Not really. And eventually you come to realize that what's really important it is what makes them comfortable and eases their minds.
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Hi kukla77 patience and knowledge is the key to your sanity.. Read up on dementia it helps to understand what she is going through. When you get aggravated you can remember what you learned about this dreaded disease and sometimes it helps..

Keep coming back to this site, we all have been there and you're not the only one going through this!!! Lots of great advice here!!
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I believe that Annie and mcskeech's answers need to be taken extremely seriously. Initially, all I needed was this website. Then I began spinning into a deep depression. I reached out to by friends for support. I went to a psychiatrist and was put on meds and finally I joined a support group. I am back to my old self being able to laugh with my mil and join in her world to support her.
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My MIL went through the same thing. And our answer to her when she asked about losing her mind was, “Well your mind is just playing tricks on you about that. It happens to us all.” Most often though, my MIL would get angry, very angry, if we corrected her about what she believed to be true. Reasoning did no good. We just stopped arguing. Next day she would point to the same item or piece of clothing and say how much she has always loved it.

I wanted a way to keep memories alive and got a digital photo album. I selected pictures of family members and before EACH photo I typed out who was in the photo or what they were doing such as “Your sister Betty and her daughter Fran.” Just a few words, then the digital album would transition to show the picture of the 2 ladies. For instance before a picture of her granddaughter and great granddaughter I had the photo “Liz with her baby Scarlett. Scarlett has the Adkin’s red hair!” I didn’t know if this digital photo frame was helpful to her or not until we visited with my son, who just recently grown a beard. And the beard came in red. When my MIL saw him she said, “You have the Adkin’s red hair!” I think it is helping because she is getting the prompts, then seeing the pictures over and over again. I may add photos of some of her items to the digial display and do the same thing. She lives in a memory unit, not at home.
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And one other more tactical piece of advice - if you don't already have business and healthcare powers of attorney, it might be time to do that. It will be much easier while your mom can still make those kinds of decisions somewhat on her own than further down the road. Good luck to you.
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Who do you think the clothes, shoes, and belongings are?
They must be yours, they are your favorite color, your size, in your closet, they must be yours, with a smile.

Our 87 year old had to change to gym shoes and even though we bought her a sketchers Mary Jane style, at the foot doctors request, she still thinks every morning that they are not hers.

Then we had to ease her into socks, not nylons that go with those gym shoes, sometimes we just cant believe what we see with AD, but do everything with a smile...
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It is just so important to meet her where she is in her journey. We know that past routines provide comfort...so try to keep everything that was important to her first and foremost. Never try to drag her into reality...we must go to where they are. If she says these things are not hers then just get her talking about things that are important to her. And remember to care for yourself as well...attend a support group...this will help as further changes occur but also helps to care for you so you can be there for her at times she needs you most. The whole person must be cared for--mentally, spiritually, physically...keep familiar items around her that she feels safe with and remove the unfamiliar items. This allows you to make meaningful moments with her everyday. Many blessings in your life journey.
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All good suggestions above. One thing to remember is that even it reasoning would make sense at the moment, 2 minutes later it would be forgotten, so best thing is to live in their world and try not to stress over these things. Keep reassuring that her brain is just fine for you and you love her - brain and all. Don't forget to take care of yourself in the process. You need at least one day, or even part of a day each week to let someone else take care of her so you can get away and not have to deal with it. Taking care of an Alzheimer's patient is extremely exhausting.
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