My 83-year-old father "recognizes" people he couldn't possible know. Is his dementia progressing?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
14

Answers

Show:
Absolutely. Who wouldn't feel better to see "friends" every where, instead of the thousands of strangers one encounters in modern city living!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother would do this too. My explanation is that we try to find the familar when we feel lost or want to feel more at ease.

Haven't we all done that too? While visiting a city we 'think' we see someone who looks like "so-and-so" Doesn't it make us feel more at ease? Or we are in the mall and someone who looks like an old friend is really our friend's CHILD! Yep.. after attending one of my uncles funerals a few years back,I walked up to his DAUGHTER and thought it was his wife (my Aunt) the resemblance was remarkable (as it should be) but it wasn't Aunt Ronnie it was her daughter!

My mother would walk up to strangers and talk to them like they were long lost friends. Good news was that MOST people were polite and spoke back. Those that didn't I too would use the excuse that they were in a hurry and couldn't talk!

Familarity does not breed contempt in the case of dementia. It means comfort. After all if you think the people around you are your friends, you will feel more at ease and happier. Makes perfect sense to me!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mother who now lives in an assisted living facilty does the same thing. She thinks everyone living there are old friends of hers. One woman she calls by the wrong name and swears that when she first met her 20 yrs ago she told her that was her name. She also goes around telling everyone that she dated one of the caregivers about 5 yrs ago but they are now just friends. He's about 30 yrs old.......
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom does something similar but not with people. She is 83 with Alzheimer’s but what she does is she remembers things or events that never happened before and her famous byline is “Oh yeah I remember that” and it has never been said before or is brand new. We’ll see something on the news for the first time and she remembers it or a commercially about a new product but she remembers it. It is very frustrating and we all just look at each other. I have decided that because she is having memory issues she wants to feel she is keeping it altogether at least my theory.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Additional note on the topic: Although my dad regularly "recognized" faces (in that situation I would say, Yes that looks JUST like them, Dad, but that's NOT them.")... you have to be careful about dismissing ALL input from someone with Alzheimer's. After two years of this behavior, one day my dad REALLY DID KNOW someone at the grocery store!! :) I thought that was so cool and exciting and I was SO PROUD of him that day. Funny enough, the guy he recognized was a former business supplier from back in the day! They had a great conversation, after which I asked the man discreetly out of my father's earshot if he knew that my dad had Alz, to which he said yes. :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom does this too - it is usually with people on TV. We can be watching a brand new episode of a game show or something and she makes comments about the people like she knows them. The only thing that bothers me is that the comments are generally nasty - and she's never been like that.

Usually it is about the men and it is stuff like "he is so stuck on himself" or "he's really mean" - but she says them in this horrible tone of voice that I've never heard her use. Luckily it hasn't happened in public. :-)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

GOOD MORNING FAMILY!

Haven't we all done this? I also "recognize" people I swear I have met before; then they turn out to be total strangers. Most of the time it's because they remind me of someone dear to me who either fell off the map or passed away. But once in a while I pretend I know a woman without a ring on her finger just to flirt.

Well, enough trash talk. Have to go to work.

-- ED
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have found that the more I read about dementia and alzheimer's the calmer I get about having to care for my mom. I added the Alzheimer's Association to my facebook page so I could read something everyday about the disease. It helps me to understand the progression and what to expect. Before I began reading and learning everyday, I felt angry and upset about the things she was doing. If you could find a way to join a support group or if you have a facebook page, you can add the Alzheimer's Association to your "likes", then you could read what other people are going through with the caring of their love ones.......we are all going through similar troubles and it helps to share.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

God bless you all for your strength and dignity in facing such a horrific disease in the lives of your loved ones.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Agree it may be dementia and just confusing new people with the images of a lifetime, my grandmother did this too. As long as it doesn't have repercussions I imagine it is ok.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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