When a Loved One Mistakes You For Another Person

Consider these tips on how to respond when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s


- Posted on Feb 14, 2019

When a Loved One Mistakes You For Another Person

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

When you are caring for or visiting a loved one with dementia, they may mistake you for another person. If this happens, you may feel sad or hurt, but it’s important to remember this is not a personal slight. No matter how you feel, it’s not appropriate to respond in a way that makes the person feel embarrassed or ashamed. Instead, try the advice below.

· If your loved one is convinced that you’re someone else, it’s important not to argue about it or make him or her feel wrong. Instead, try to have a nice conversation about whoever it is you’re being mistaken for. Ask about things related to that person. For example, if your loved one calls you by the name of her sister, and you are actually her niece, say something about the sister. You could say, “Your sister Kay loves to cook, doesn’t she? She has a voracious appetite. You two have always gotten along so well.”

· You can also mention who you are, but don’t be upset if your loved one doesn’t retain it.

· You will know by her reaction to the conversation whether or not the direction you take is comforting or agitating. Follow the person’s lead. The goal is for your loved one to feel good; not to retain facts.

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