My mom talks about me like I'm not there. Did I handle it appropriately? -

My mom talks about me like I'm not there. Did I handle it appropriately?


I had a weird experience with my mother today. She has Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, mid- stage. We were having a (relatively) normal discussion when all at once she began talking about me as if she were discussing me with some other person, as if I wasn't there! It was all negative trash-talk, "Amber said blah-blah" and "Amber did thus and so." I made no attempt to re-orient her, not wanting to alarm her or cause a catastrophic reaction. Instead, I kept trying to redirect her to a different topic, which would work momentarily, but she kept returning to the same negative comments to me (about me) as if I wasn't there. We were in the car, just the two of us. Finally, after 10 minutes of going around and around like this, she dropped it. Is this a common dementia behavior? Did I handle it appropriately?



Would it have helped to say: "Who is Amber?" and cause her to think. I have seen a very ill person in a pattern of calling out, over and over. The doctor was called, he shouted her name, shocking her saying: "How the he'll are you?" She stopped, looked up at him.
He ordered anti-anxiety meds in the afternoons for her " s u n d o w n e r s ".
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Reply to Sendhelp

A nurse at the AL turned out to be married to a guy I dated shortly back in my early 20s. The nurse told my Mom "Your daughter dated my husband" my Mom replied "yeah, she got around". Talk about being embarrassed. She also had her paranoid times saying me and brother were trying to drive her crazy. Another time she was looking for a baby at the AL. I told her the AL was for older people so no babies. She looked at the CNA and said "If you tell me there is no baby I'll believe you but I don't believe her" Why do they get negative with the person who was always there, Can't answer that.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Hi Amber, I think yes. The unexpected abnormal thought process is to be expected. It’s tough. Hang in there!
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Reply to Jacqueline18

Well. You didn't crash the car. And you didn't pull up and chuck her out of it, either. So I'd say you handled the situation not just appropriately but with aplomb.

I wonder who she thought was driving? And of course you are bound to wonder what the heck put her brain on this weird chain of thought. But I wouldn't wonder too long or you'll end up as bat-sh*t crazy as she is.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Hi Amber, My Mom used to think I was one of her sisters. One who had passed more than 30 years ago! While she never talked 'about me' I understand the feeling you had. From my perspective, you did an A+ job in attempting to redirect.
I used to try to see what time period my Mom was re-living. I finally realized she was in her late teens. Honestly, it made me feel good since that was a very happy time for her. She would ask me (her sister) where her brothers were. I'd tell her they were out playing soccer. She RARELY asked about my Dad --- she hadn't met him yet when she was in her late teens!
The various forms of dementia are really a strange phenomenon. Love her as she loved you and keep up the redirection.
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Reply to geewiz

Hang in there Amber, there will be someone to give you great advice soon. There is a lot of wisdom here, it will arrive shortly.
May God bless you and help you with the strength you need to do the things you need to do. Trust in HIM. I will be praying for you, you are a good daughter.
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Reply to smeshque