Mom doesn't remember that her husband was my daddy. How long until she forgets that I 'm her daughter?

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Mom and I had a great day today. I went over for my usual visit on my day off and took her out to lunch and grocery shopping. All went well until our conversation drastically changed, and I was sucker punched in the heart. Here is our conversation:


Mom: I had a wonderful husband. Did you know him?
Me: Mom, you're talking about my daddy. The wonderful husband that you're talking about was my daddy.
Mom: He was? I don't remember.


I immediately changed the subject and went home shortly thereafter. What's next? I'm thinking it won't be long until something clicks and she won't remember that I'm her daughter. I don't know what to do. When will I know when it's time to move her from independent living (where she lives now) to assisted living and then finally to memory care?

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AbbyRose,
The end of stage 5 (Alzheimer's) is when my mother didn't know WHO I was but she recognized my face. She thought I was her sister, which was fine with me, because she told me that she "hated" her daughter. (I'm her only child.) So I played along.

Trying to correct them does nothing but irritate them, confuse them and make them mad or sad. It is not worth "forcing" them to see it differently. You can't argue with dementia.

She is now in stage 6 and she still remembers my face but absolutely nothing else. The other day I asked her if she knew my name and who I was and, without skipping a beat, she said, "You're Susan, my daughter." I was flabbergasted. The memory left quickly after it came.

Memory may be in and out throughout this rotten disease. Please don't be hurt and fearful. She can't help it. You will know when she starts doing things like refusing to bathe, putting things in (very) wrong places (telephone in the clean sheets in the closet) or getting dressed and going to breakfast at 3 am. The staff will also alert you to her behavior.

Read as much as you can about this disease. The book, "The 36 hour day" is good for explaining the disease and how it impacts the family. Realizing you and mom are on a new journey is tough to swallow. I'm sorry. Come back for much needed support.
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Reply to SueC1957
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My Mom talked about her ex asking if I knew what he was doing now. She had been married to Dad for 55 yrs since she was 23. She didn't mention Dad much. My daughter thinks she knew me but not as her daughter. One time went into the hospital after the AL sent Mom and when I entered the room she went "Hi" like a child. I wondered sometimes if she thought I was her Mom. Really, this didn't bother me that much. Blaming me for things did, though.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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My mom is so funny ,,she says where is beth “..I say that’s me “...I don’t t think she heard me she said “ I know your my daughter Beth “ I said “Mom I just said I was “...she said “I may have dementia but I know you beth” “ don’t try to fool me “ Lol I can’t win ,,,,her hearing is bad but she still is quite feisty and sometimes she dosent remember me at all...it comes and goes ,,sometimes I’m her mom or cousin. and some days she knows me ..sometimes I’m my sister who died , I’ve been everyone ,,,
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Reply to ohmeowzer
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Abby, my mom did the same thing. There’s no figuring out why. And no convincing them otherwise. My mom was a famous actress on the Broadway stage and I was her understudy. (Always a bridesmaid...😁) her red winter jacket had morphed into a grand satin cape she wore on stage. She wondered why “they” hadn’t called her lately for a role. One of the aides became her daughter. And one time, she told me they had physically moved the entire facility to Russia, overnight. There were other, darker hallucinations too but I try to forget about them.

Never, ever argue, deny or try to convince them they’re wrong. When I did that once my mom looked st me with such confusion and sadness in her eyes, I never did it again.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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This goes back and force. Today my mom remember the name of my dad, tomorrow she said I dont remember....Some day she forgot the name of her son, but some day she pronounce names of all four grandkids, although she see regularly only two...so its a long story with step forward, two back
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Reply to poetry21
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Thank you all for answering and offering advice. I started looking at assisted living facilities a month or so ago. I haven't begun to visit any. Maybe I will soon. I never know what tomorrow holds. Do any of us? What a journey this is. Thanks again. Have a wonderful day.
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Reply to AbbyRose
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I can understand that is heartbreaking. She may have permanently lost that connection, or it may be a fleeting memory glitch.

The first time my sister Pat and her husband Bob brought Mom to my house for a weekend Mom asked me when the men were coming in.
Um, which men? Do you mean Bob?
No. I mean when is Dad coming in?
[Oh-oh. My dad had died several years ago!]
(recovering from shock -- she'd never done that before) I don't think he's coming in this time. Pat and Bob are going to drop him off at his poker buddy's. You and I are going to have a girl's weekend.

She asked about where Dad was several times that day. She wanted to call him. Unfortunately I didn't have the number of his friend's house.

The next day she knew her husband was not alive and we talked about both being widows.

So you just never know.

She never lost track of us four daughters. She often called us by the wrong name, but she had been doing that since the second one was born! She sometimes didn't recognize others, such a DIL she had been close to but whom she hadn't seen much recently.

If your mom was thinking of her husband as a young man right then, then of course he couldn't have a daughter your age.

My husband once asked me, sheepishly, whether I was his first wife or his second. That was the only time he was confused about who I was, but it was kind of surprise to me!

Try to take her memory lapses in stride, and as ff says, don't correct her. "Yes, I did know him and you are right, he was a wonderful man!"

Your mom may or may not forget who you are, but she'll probably always know you as a nice lady who comes to visit her. She will always appreciate your kindness and care. She may recognize your voice longer than your face. Try to speak to her first, and identify yourself. I would say, "Mom, it's your favorite daughter Jeanne!" and usually she'd say something like "you're not catching me with that. All my daughters are my favorite" and a minute later she'd call me Pat. Sigh.

I agree with ff. The staff will let you know when she does things that could be dangerous, and you will notice those things yourself. You might want to start checking out assisted living facilities, so it isn't a big new rush when the need arises.

BTW, there isn't always a progression from to assisted living and then to memory care. At least half of the residents in ALFs have dementia, and they get along in the mainstream just fine. Most never move to memory care. And some people need memory care as soon as they can no longer handle independent living.

Often the main criteria for needing memory care are wandering (so that a secure environment is needed) or behavior that is very disruptive to others, or some other reason for needing closer monitoring.

Take each day as it comes. Cherish all of those great days. Don't let a memory lapse spoil the good time.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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there's no way to know when or if she will forget who you are. my dad forgot who I was towards the very end of his life. I don't know, but it didn't upset me a whole lot. it didn't upset me cause I knew it was just the disease. I was more upset what the disease was doing to him.
my mom gets confused about "WHO's" who sometimes.
once she spoke about her father, but she was describing my father (her husband)
I guess its her memory... just getting things mixed up.

she told me the other day, didn't your MIL pass away? I said no, (and I have never said she had)
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Reply to wally003
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AbbyRose, just remember when your Mom no longer knows who you are, you know that she is your Mom, and that is important.

Whatever you do, do not correct your Mom when she has incorrect memory. Otherwise that will confuse her even more. I know this isn't easy, but just play along with whatever she says.

I remember when my own Mom was in long term care, I was happy that she knew who I was, until one day she called her Aide by my name, then another Aide. Well, it was good to know that my name was still in her memory even though she couldn't relate to the person.

As for moving Mom from Independent Living over to Memory Care, the Staff will let you know when it is time. I had to do that with my Dad which caught me by surprised. Then the Staff told me that Dad was wandering at night, right then and there I knew it was time.
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Reply to freqflyer
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