How would you handle this situation regarding my mother not recognizing relatives?

Follow
Share

Mom is in mid stage dementia and lives with my husband and I.

We attended my niece's wedding this past weekend. Mom only recognized the bride as her grand child (there were 5 others at the wedding including my children).and did not know several of my cousins their spouses, one of my SIL and many other long tie friends and family.

Last night she was sad because :"my grand children did not even come to talk with me at the wedding!" My husband and I reassured her that they had all come to visit with her at the wedding many times and had hugged her, even danced with her.

We stepped into a mine field! She was immediately furious with us insisting she did not see any of them. Then she stomped off to bed declaring that we are just so mean to her
.
I know we must accept her reality but I didn't intentionally try to hurt her feelings.

How would you have handled this situation? Any clues will be most appreciated.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
20

Answers

Show:
ppalmer 316
We have the same problem with children and grandchildren. No one wants to visit except one or two and there are 8 children and 25 grandchildren and then there are the greats which are quite young. I don't understand but suppose it is because they feel they can't communicate so why bother. One of the kids said, my dad is already dead but he is very much alive. They don't call on Holidays or his birthday. Very sad. Figure their day is coming
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If it makes you feel any better my Mom has 20 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren??? I don't even know all their names!!!

I don't worry about her in a social situation with them...they never come to visit so 'screw them"..But why should they come visit their parents don't...
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

mlface, my DH and I had a discussion last night about how words have lost their meaning to my mother. Cantelope is called grapefruit, fish is chicken, granddaughter is niece, etc. It is a challenge to keep a straight face some times!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I know my husband w/dementia doesn't remember names or usually faces but I never thought about when I say our granddaughter the word might not mean a thing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

'Rhonda, thanks for you thoughts. We are not ashamed of anything Mom does. We can only support her and have no expectation of trying to fix anything. It took a few years, but our family fully understands our role in Mom's journey.
Starshine, you are right about the pictures. The hard part is that even when looking at the pictures Mom will comment that she doesn't remember that happening. The sad part of her comment is that she is acknowledging out loud that she has a problem. Sometimes this upsets her and can turn the rest of the day or evening into an unpleasant memory for everyone else.
Fortunately, we are able to roll with it. But it can be exhausting. Mom has been here 6 months and I feel like I've aged years.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When your mother doesn't recognize relatives, don't be ashamed for her there is nothing you can do except to tell your mother who they are. She may or may not remember but that's not your job to fix her memory be always kind and be mindful of your mother's level of comfort that is what you can fix
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

When your mother doesn't recognize relatives, don't be ashamed for her there is nothing you can do except to tell your mother who they are. She may or may not remember but that's not your job to fix her memory be always kind and be mindful of your mother's level of comfort that is what you can fix
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom also wants to go home to her mama and daddy . she doesn,t like to bathe,or go anywhere "They" keep telling her various nonsense I am Jo, her sister, her mama, Gloria, my sister etc. She sits still untin dusk dark then the pacing starts its getting more and more difficult to clean her up. I know a cleaning is necessary especiall in the bottom part so for an hour or more we endure cussing,and just plain contrariness on mom's part. As the caregivers we do our part with the knowledge that we're doing the right thing.After all what is a few hours of frustration compared to their 24 hours of frustration. Be glad its not you and pray Psalms 71:1-9
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My suggestion would be to talk pictures of the people and her when they are together so she can see them and KNOW, if only for the time looking at the photos, that yes, they did show up and talk with her. Not easy. Just best to be reassuring and NOT argue. Easier to change the subject. Blessings.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. We really are not taking anything personally and realize it is the disease. We did put out a photo album. Mom will sit and look through it but not remember many relatives. For us, one of our problems is that Mom has OCD on top of the dementia. She never had a hobby or an interest in anything but cleaning her home. These days she dries dirty dishes with clean dish towels, puts dirty clothes in the dryer, and incessantly moves our things (which sometimes means we can't find things). We have to try to be three steps ahead of her most of the time so exhaustion is my most familiar state. Crying, breathing, laughing, praying and finding ways to relax help. We have care givers who take her out for a few hours several times a week so that I can have some time to take care of things at home. I am so grateful I'd found this forum before we moved Mom in with us! I learned so much and continue to learn and appreciate the support and empathy I find here.. You are all wonderful friends. Hugs to you, too! Bee
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions