She is always asking where did that other girl go? It's me...she is usually complaining about something that girl did, good because I know not to do that again. Bad because I was telling her it's just me mom or that was me. Then I read how your not supposed to argue with her. So I started saying things like she won't be back. Now she is getting VERY mad because I don't know her name or who she is, telling me DO NOT DO THIS TO ME! I seriously can walk out & back in, same clothes & I turn into that girl???

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I’d laugh about it, I'm my father in law’s primary caregiver and i joke about a lot stuff he does and says. He thinks its also funny and laughs. Im not saying this disease isn't rough and frustrating but laughter is the best medicine. They might not know the roll you play in theirs lives but they will always know your someone important to them.
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No, you don't want to argue with her. Rational thinking is not a thing anymore, so it's fruitless.

My mom never forgot my name, but she clearly didn't remember our relationship because she thought she was in high school so she couldn't have had a 60-year-old daughter.

If she got hung up on something and short-circuited in her head, I could get up, walk out of her sight for about 30 seconds, then come back, and it was a new day as far as she knew. It was a good way to reset her when reasoning with her wasn't an option anymore.
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You say in your profile that you feel “unfit compared to her”. Why? Unfit for what? Unfit to care for her? Unfit to be her daughter? You don't believe you have the patience and love for others that she had? Do you feel you haven't lived up to what you think her expectations of you are?

Please don't compare yourself to your mom. Take whatever life lessons she has given you and live YOUR life. Be grateful for your relationship and the life you have shared. You are fit, you are qualified to do whatever life expects of you, including caring for your mom.

It's obvious that you love her, and want to be a better caregiver for her, but are having a hard time in doing that. Although you want to make her happy and manifest your love for her in your caregiving, instead you're causing her anxiety. Your profile states she has Alzheimer's dementia. Dementia related diseases causes us as caregivers, to totally change our approach and understanding of what's going on in the mind of our LO. You've come to realize that correcting your mom or trying to rationalize with her doesn't work. You have to change your approach and responses. You have to validate her reality. If she believes you are another person, be that person. Make up a name, make up a story. Dementia causes the caregiver to live in the land of make believe. The best way to do that is to educate yourself about the disease that's causing this behavior. Read “The 36 Hour Day” or “Learning to Speak Alzheimer's”. Educate yourself on what to expect in your mom's behavior and how to respond.

You are fit, Deb, to lovingly care for her, to be her daughter.
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Oh dear.

How's your mother's vision behaving? Anything playing her up, possibly?

Meanwhile, perhaps you and your mother can agree on a name for your Evil Twin, and you can think up some sort of plausible backstory ideally avoiding outright lies. But it is fine to tell her you don't know what girl she's talking about, e.g. "I'm sorry, mother, but I just didn't see anyone when I was coming in so I don't know who it is you mean." You can offer to go and check the other rooms, but it's probably better to keep to reassurance e.g. "well, I'm here now, if she comes back we'll ask her her business."

When clients complain to me about me (doesn't happen often, but it has happened) I always 'fess up and it's always (touch wood!) been taken with good grace. Once I was alleged to have hidden an inhaler, as in "bloody woman came and shook me awake in the middle of the night [9pm] and moved everything [fetched his inhaler from the kitchen and placed it by his bed, then in the morning the silly old sausage put it in his pocket and forgot it was there]..." How serious are your mother's complaints?
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Roll with it? Not much else you can do 🙄

I met a lovely lady who blamed the 'ghosts' for hiding her things. (I started believing 😆). Her son told me he was sometimes her wonderful son. Sometimes her brother/father/other relative. Sometimes an unknown but nice man. But when she was fearful as didn't know him at all he then left & visited another day. (Was in Memory Care type place).

If she cannot meet you where you are - you have to meet her where her reality is.

You are doing a hard hard job & it sounds like you are caring & loving. Try to find the humour & joy in each day. Keep looking for time you connection well. They are what matter ❤️
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It’s not all bad to have a dual persona. Give ‘the other girl’ a name (perhaps the one you preferred when you were a kid – mine was Elizabeth). Load all the bad things onto her, and find excuses why she still comes back and is a nuisance. This is about making your mother happy, and getting through a difficult time. Like Covid, it’s all crazy at the moment – just go with the flow! If you want to look different, tie a bright red scarf around the neck of one of them, just don't forget which one.

PS She will probably forget which one, take advantage of it!
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bkoropchak123 Jan 2022
There is a name for what you are recommending. It is "validation." My mom was 86 when my father died. She had relied on him for everything. Her dementia gradually led to NH placement. She responded well to me when I played along with her no matter what her reality was.
Mom: "Where is your father? He's very late coming home from work." Me: "No wonder you are worried. Let's call his office and see if he's working late." I would pretend to call, and tell her "no one was still at his office, so he must be on the way home." This method, no doubt, is against values we've all been taught. But it helped mom be less frantic.
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