How to reassure Mom with upsetting recognition issues? - AgingCare.com

How to reassure Mom with upsetting recognition issues?

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Mom has Lewy body dementia. Her recognition issues are two fold. First, she has mentally split most of us into 2-3 people. This has been going on awhile. An example, she thinks at least two ladies live in my house (only me). On top of this, she is having more problems with facial recognition. This is esp difficult for me because I am the only sibling involved in her life, we've always been extremely close, I'm her primary person for everything, and I see her constantly.

Lately she has been lamenting that she never sees me! This is upsetting for her because she wants to see me and it's terrible for me because I am putting in so much time and effort.

She will say she hasn't seen her daughter and I will generally say it's ME, I'm her daughter, I'm here, and I just saw you two days ago. She seems happy that I'm ME and accepts the explanation. We've told her that her mind plays tricks on her, it is nothing she can help, try not to let it upset her, and it's always OK to ask any time she isn't sure. Then a PT helper will come over (an hour after I was there) and she will tell her she never sees me!

Ironically, she always remembers seeing my husband because there are no other men in her life at the moment. But I am the primary constant in her life and she feels (and tells others) that she never sees me. It is so difficult.

I hate to correct/reassure her and say I just saw you two days ago, I'm here all the time. But I also hate to just agree with her that she never sees me.

What are the best responses? Is there a good way to reassure her?

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We have a family friend show has been talking about having two "Janes" for years. She asked Jane where the "other Jane" is all the time. Jane just tells her the other Jane is taking a nap, running errands and will be back soon. She basically plays whichever role that is called for.

Jane is the sole care provider for her mom and has been for over 6 years.
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Wow, I didnt know this was a "thing" I thought it was just my mom. She lives with me and takes breaks periodically at her sisters (my Aunt). She has split both of us into 2 people, and we have to reassure her shes with family that loves her. Its very difficult as her daughter to have her tell me many times a day that she never sees her family. That they dont care and must have moved away. When I correct her, she cries because she cant believe she doesn't remember her own child. Do I make her feel bad by agreeing she hasnt seen anyone, or saying shes living with family.
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Sometimes you do have to go with the flow and play the games. Reassuring her that you are who you are probably won't help as she's no longer able to make that observation.

When this happens, you could tell her you're going to look for her daughter, leave the room or house, then come back and greet her as her daughter.

Another thing you might do is provide her with a picture of you, perhaps in younger days, and give her that to hold onto while you're "looking" for the real you.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

You could also tell her you're her daughter's best friend and are going to stay with her for awhile while your daughter is grocery shopping or doing something for your mother - so she doesn't think she's been abandoned.

Then do something she enjoys to try to divert her attention. Play a CD of her favorite music, just chat - something to relax her. Then leave and come back as her daughter.

This used to happen to my mother. Once she called me, very upset and said there was a strange man trying to break into her house and she didn't know where Dad was. She begged me to call the police.

Dad was at the door trying to get in, as he had just called me on his cell phone telling me Mom wouldn't let him in the door.

I suggested he drive around the block, stay away for a little while, then come back and try again. By that time she was so excited to see him, and so relieved.

Thinking about this and how sad it was still brings tears to my eyes. The inability to recognize family is a heartbreaking development. Try to be clever and work around it as it could otherwise become emotionally devastating.

I'm sure others who've been through this will offer other suggestions, better than mine as they've had more experience with it.
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I'm sure I'm not the only person with this issue. I just feel so bad for her and hate for her to think she isn't seeing her loved one. It's so hard to respond and I wonder what others say when this happens.
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