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My Grandmother, who has Vascular Dementia, is consistent in asking us where "Little Tina" is. Tina is her now 40 year old daughter. She speaks to "Adult Tina" normally, asking her normal, relevant, life questions, but she will also ask her where Tina is. She has never not recognized my aunt or asked who she is. She calls her by name and introduces her as her daughter, but still every day insists on knowing the location of her small daughter. (She often uses her hand to show us the height of the girl.) When we explain that Tina is here and is grown up, she demands that she knows this, but needs to know where "Little Tina" is. We calm her by telling her that "Little Tina" is safe at home with her father, but I would still like to know her thought process in thinking that both young Tina and grown-up Tina exist at the same time.

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My Mom decided that one of the caregivers I had helping her out was her grand daughter. She couldn't even remember her name, but kept introducing her around as her grand daughter! It was easier for my Mom to believe that she was a relative rather then a paid caretaker. Additionally, she had long red hair (which I used to have) and those two things combined, voila, mom created an extra relative!
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Victory, there is no explaining the thoughts that someone with dementia have. My father had a difficult time remembering his grandchildren were teens, instead of young children. He would buy them Christmas presents suitable for children, then be distressed when he realized they were older. The grandkids never said anything bad about the gifts, but he felt he had made a mess.

He also went back and forth between thinking I was his daughter to thinking I was a helper or healthcare worker. As he got worse, I became a helper/health worker more often and a daughter less.

My mother has dementia and she has no problem remembering people. She forgets times and events. She also tends to cast me in an adversarial role even when I'm trying to help. There is no explaining it. We can predict what people with dementia will do usually, but can't understand the why of it. The brain is just not working in the same plane as people without dementia.
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Humor her. Memories of your young children are deeply imprinted and very comforting. A picture album of happier times might make her happy. In dementia, timelines get lost. Past gets mixed up. Dreams look like reality.
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Thinking that there are two of the same person is actually common enough that it has a name - Capgras Delusion. Do a search here or on the web and you'll find a ton of helpful information. It's actually kind of fascinating- easy for me to say since I don't have to deal with it - but also kind of creepy.
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