jmgoyder

wings and things

Dementia and misrecognition

on February 18, 2017

Ming has been the first of the two of us to be misrecognised by Anthony because Ants keeps forgetting that Ming is now a 23-year-old adult, and not the toddler he often thinks he sees in his nursing home room.

Anthony always knows me but, on the other hand sometimes, when I am sitting next to him, he will talk about Julie to me not quite realising that I am Julie.

Neither of these misrecognitions is tragic – well, they don’t need to be! After all, Anthony is not deliberately misrecognising Ming by thinking Ming is one of Anthony’s numerous nephews. Of course the first time this happened Ming was understandably annoyed and hurt but, since then, he goes with the flow and often says, in his big, booming voice, “I am your son, Dad!”

I am quite prepared for the day that Anthony might not know who I am at all; after all, I know how dementia works and how it manifests itself differently for each and every individual. Why would I be hurt by something that can’t be helped? If Anthony’s dementia worsens, which of course it will, then it may be inevitable that one day he won’t know who the hell I am. I am ready for that.

I’ve said this before but will say it again; if Anthony stops knowing who I am, it doesn’t matter because I will always know who he is. This misrecognition thing that happens with dementia doesn’t have to be seen as a tragedy; after all, the person with dementia has absolutely no intention of breaking your heart by not knowing who you are. You can still be the most trusted, and most loving person, in his/her life.

Anthony: Where is Jules?

Me: Right here, Ants.


8 responses to “Dementia and misrecognition

  1. susanpoozan says:

    That is a very commonsense to the problems you are facing, you explain it so well.

  2. You’re so wise and beautiful Julie! ❤
    Diana xo

  3. Vicki says:

    A sad, but inevitable eventuality. At least you are forewarned and at the moment, accepting of this. I wonder how you will feel when the day comes, Julie? 🙂

  4. As prepared for it as you are it will still be a bit of a shock and maybe even a little upsetting because logic doesn’t always go hand in hand with emotion

  5. dogdaz says:

    So right. You amaze me. Wish I had that insight 20 years ago.

  6. That will be a tough day.

  7. […] I have been following this blog for a long time and have followed the journey she and her family have been on with her husbands dementia this post however hit home so much, as you know my gran passed just over two years ago but towards the end she was not sure who I was, she would talk to me about me parents as if they were strangers to me, she knew I was a relative just seemed to struggle to remember who exactly, and while it is hard it is something you have to learn to overcome https://jmgoyder.com/2017/02/18/dementia-and-misrecognition/ […]

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