Mom moved into assisted living and I don't think she remembers who I am. Out of sight out of mind - is this typical?

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My mom and I have always been close. She is 93, has Alzheimer's and has lived with me for about 2 years. During that time, she attended an adult day care and always new who I was. She always called me by name and introduced me as her daughter. She was very comfortable in my home but always believed she was just visiting me. She moved to AL on August 1st and I hired a geriatric care manager to move her (I couldn't do it). I was told to wait 30 days to let her transition. The first week, she was waiting for me to pick her up. The second week - she called me on the phone and I reassured her about a few things. The last two times I visited her - she showed no reaction (happy to see me or anger) and I don't think she knew who I was. Staff asked her who I was and she couldn't answer. Later that day she asked me "how our father was"; she did have a sister. I am shocked that she could forget me in such a short time. I now wish I visited her sooner. Is this typical, an out-of-sight-out of mind reaction; or could it be transfer trauma that expedited the Alzheimer's? I have always been told stories about people asking to go home, once they are in AL. Mom doesn't do that, this is he new reality. Last time I was there, she said "oh I have visitors", but didn't acknowledge me as her daughter. I am just shocked that she could forget me so quickly.

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I tend to think this is just the Alzheimer's progression. It had to happen sometime, it just happened to coincide with the move. You may find recognition comes and goes. Pretty common.
My mom mostly knows who I am because there is just the two of us. There are days, though, that she recognizes me as C_____, but not necessarily as her daughter. And then there are days she doesn't know me at all. I'm pretty sure that if she was in a care facility with many caregivers coming and going it would be harder for her to figure out my place in her life and I would soon become one among many.
Dementia is sad, but even if she forgets who you are she will recognize that you are a familiar face, someone who loves and cares for her.
DoreenC, being your Mom has been in her new "home" for about a month it might still take time for her to adjust. New room, new faces, new food, new noises, new smells, even the sun doesn't come in the window like it use to.... yikes, all this new stuff to remember. Might be remember overload for now.

Now here is an idea, this is what they do in my Dad's memory care complex. Next to each person's apartment door is a shadow box where the Staff have a photo of the person.... his/her name.... and various information such as the name of their child(ren), names of any grandchildren and great-grandchildren... list of hobbies... and what was their main employment, if any... where they grew up and list of places where they have lived. I have noticed when the residents go into their room, they will stop and look at their shadow box. I think it helps them remember who they are and a bit of their life :)
My cousin's ability to recall and recognize people varies. I never know what to expect and she may be one way for months and then change back, so, I try not to get too distracted, because, it's likely, she will fluctuate again. Of course, there is the inevitable progression that is just going to happen.

I do dread when she will not know who I am, but, it will happen. I have to accept that. Though, I know it must be so painful to actually see it as her daughter. Still, as posted upthead. I think they still realize that it's a familiar face and someone who loves them.
On one of my last visits when my mom was up and about I got the feeling she didn't know who I was. After about an hours visit in a common area I wheeled her back to her room and helped her into her recliner for a short nap before dinner. As I was leaning near her to say goodbye she placed both of her hands over mine and said "you're my daughter". I'm grateful mom passed before all her memories deserted her altogether.
DoreenC, this must be a shock and I'm so sorry for how it must make you feel. But please don't let it make you think it was a mistake to secure an AL place for her, and please don't second-guess yourself about how the process was handled. You can only do your best, and you can only rely on the advice you're given.

It is early days; there will have been stress associated with the move even if your mother, happily, doesn't seem to have been upset by it; she is surrounded by new faces, which must be confusing (how is her eyesight, by the way?); and there has been an abrupt change in her routine. There may *also* have been a step-change in her mental function, but the other factors may recede after a while as she settles down. I hope so.
Thanks for the kind words. Caring for someone with dementia is so heartbreaking. We do have the memory box and she knows that I provided the pictures. I believe staff has told her that. She also acknowledged that I bought things for her (bedding etc.). Thirty days ago, she was calling me by name, now she does not. She doesn't even recall living with me for the last 2 years.

My mom is considered high functioning, she can dress herself, feed herself etc. but she also fools many people. Some of the staff members said she appears normal, but she is highly delusional and cannot remember what was said a second ago. Physically she is amazing for a 93 year old, and only uses reading glasses. She needs no assistance walking, no canes. Compared to the other residents in memory care - she can do a lot more for herself. The opening came up and we placed her wandering was becoming a problem. I also was hospitalized and it was an eye opener for me. I do fear though that there has been a step change in her mental function.
It is heartbreaking seeing your loved one slowly forget you. In my case, its my husband. He's been staying in a memory care facility since April, it was dufficult but it's the only way I can do to keep him safe from himself and avoid getting hurt or hurting others. His condition started slowly its been 3 years before doctors finally diagnosed it as Dementia, initial diagnosis was Psychosis Not Otherwise specified. He had multiple admissions in the ER and Behavioral Health Units, multiple car issues wherein he'll just abandon our car. Anyway, i come visit him weekly. He doesnt remember me as his wife buyt rather tell staffs and other residents im his fiancee. Im allowed to take him out on pass, i would bring him home to show him pictures. He would remember his father and stepmother, but when I showed him our photos together nothing. He would often ask about my husband. Every weekend when I come see him, he's different and I am a different person to him...his fiancee, daughter,sister, friend, social worker. At first it hurt but Im trying to get pass it and just focus on him. My consolation to see him smile, chatting about whatever comes to mind lije bits and pieces of memories oast and present mixed together. Recently, i was overjoyed as he was pointing the way while i drive. He remembered! and even pointed to me "oh thats the way to the grocery where I go all the time" . Just be there for your mom. Create new memories. I do journaling and it helped me a lot.
Oh DoreenC, I'm so sorry. Tears are just streaming down my face this morning reading this and the responses. And Rainmom, what a beautiful moment. I try to always keep in mind that even if my Mom doesn't know who I am, I always know who she is. When I enter her room, I no longer say "Hi, it's me (or your daughter)". I always say "Hi Mom, it's Deon". Some days she tells me about her daughter Deon or other family members as if I don't know them. You did the right thing DoreenC. When my Mom was solely dependent on me for care it was irresponsible of me.
The experiences seem to be about Mom and Pop care. What about sibling care?

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