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remembering ...last in/first out
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2020 11:37 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 19282

When we ask our loved ones "do you know who I am" or "do you remember......" are we thinking of ourselves or our loved one. Is it really important to have them remember if the inability to do so causes anxiety, agitation or discomfort. What could we do instead?


Rescue mom
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2020 1:38 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1767

The “do you know who I am” question is unpleasant regardless of dementia, IMO. My mother was a teacher, and she hated having former students ask her that, decades later. I remember hating it as a kid, when relatives I had not seen in years appeared for Thanksgiving.

If I have any doubts they know me I try to work some “hints” who I am into the greeting ASAP without making a big deal of it, or I might just say it straight up 

I tried (got better at it with time) to never ask DH with Alzheimer’s “do you remember...”. But more than once I’d start talking about somebody or someone from long ago as if he did not remember (he certainly did not on recent things, but what is recent?), only for him to interrupt me to say of course he knew (whatever) and please get to the point.....

His kids have argued about this. One says to always assume he does not remember, and start any story or news from the beginning with that assumption. The other one maintains DH remembers *some* things and acting like he (DH) knows/remembers nothing, is insulting. I think it’s hard to find that middle ground, although now he remembers much much less and losing ground fast.

BTW, Your other post point about “dying” is well taken.

Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2020 3:39 PM
Joined: 2/16/2017
Posts: 1086

When my DH was in MC his aides would always come in the room and say to my DH who is your pretty visitor and most of the time he would say his wife or his Mom, 

I had to let the aides know he calls me Mom so I was the person he was asking for when he asked for his Mom. At times he would tell them I was the lady who took care of him so at times he though I was one of the caregivers. 

He was loved by all in MC and I appreciated them asking him these questions it helped me understand where his mind was.

 I had a lot of his family pictures on his wall and at times I would say what a pretty lady who is she it usually was his wife or his brother. Both were wrong but he was happy that he knew who they were and I never corrected him. He knew they were people that he loved.