Mum's confusion about who I am after her stroke 8 weeks ago

Hello everyone out there,
I’m so glad I found this forum, I hope someone might be able to help me?
My 85 year old mum had a mild stroke 8 weeks ago, and has been at home for 3 weeks. I have chosen to change jobs and return home (I was living 5 hours drive away, and that was no longer an option for me) so I’ve moved into her home to help care for her.
She manages with personal care, and can manage to make cups of tea, and has decent mobility around the house. She wouldn’t be able to function well on her own, and needs reminding to take meds, and I cook for her.

My problem is recently, (only a week ago) she started thinking I was someone else. Same name as me, but she said this person was not her daughter, and asks me now, often several times a day, who I am, and why I am here. Asks me who my kids are, and says oh that’s a coincident, ‘my Julie has three kids too’! Sometimes she also thinks there has been a male in the house, and askes me what he’s doing here too… I reassure her nicely, again and again, but it is sometimes very hard to hear her talk about me, and know that she does not recognise me as her daughter.

I think she had early stages of dementia prior to her stroke, (I found lots of post-it notes about the house, and entries in her diary which were more like reminders) while she was in the hospital.
Having been fine in her recovery up until now, I wonder if anyone has had this experience, with delayed memory issues? Do I take her to the doctor/hospital? Can they test for dementia so soon after a stroke… Or is this normal part of her stroke recovery? I worry that it will get worse, and she won’t recognise me as her daughter, or that I am here because I love her, and have chosen to take care of her.

Any advice would be most welcome…
Than you in advance, Julie

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@Julie15 welcome to the forum but sorry your mum suffered a stroke.

I think a stroke can make dementia worse or even bring on dementia. I’m no expert but if it was my mum I would get her checked over by a dr. It could be part of her recovery & it m8ght sort itself out but as you think she might already have dementia it is worth getting checked.

My mother in law had dementia & it was really hard when she didn’t recognise us any more. You’re doing amazing looking after her & changing your life around for her. Not everyone would do it.
This forum is a great place to reach out when you need / want to.
Wishing you all the best. Stay strong.

Ann xx

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Hi Ann,
Thank you so much for your reply, your kind thoughts and for reaching out!

I called her doctor after posting this today, and the earliest I can can a telephone appointment is next week, but at least I have made steps into getting some clarification…

I appreciate everything takes time, and perhaps I just need to be more patient. So good to know there are people out there who understand that being the carer can sometimes be a bit tough… but I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do it any other way… for as long as I can!

Than you,
Julie xx

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@Julie15 I hope you can get some useful help from the GP. Shame it’s not a quicker appointment but at least you have an appointment.

Stroke recovery takes a lot of patience & can sometimes be 1 step forward 2 steps back but progress should be made.

Being a carer is a difficult role & carers can often be forgotten about & i deed they can forget about themselves too. It’s really important that you make time for yourself too. My mum was a carer for my dad for a few years & I used to take over when mum had to pop out. Dad wasn’t keen but we didn’t give him a choice as Mum needed that time away. Try not to take it personally when your mum gets muddled (easy to say I know).

I hope you get some help from the GP appointment.

Best wishes

Ann xxx

Thank you so much …
I’ll look at the article on vascular dementia you suggested, again, thank you…
Trying hard to stay positive, and do the best for her, whilst looking out for me too… sure it could be a lot worse!

Warm wishes,

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Yes, it is true that strokes can be bring on vascular dementia in particular. We were told that. I wonder sometimes if my mother didn’t have it towards the end of her life. They said no after doing scans of her brain. I don’t know why her mind continued to decay over time. They just said it was post-stroke regression with no signs of dementia. Who knows? She had scar tissue from the brain bleed and some microbleeds in her brain. I just think something else was going on in hindsight. My mother’s memory was excellent, but vascular dementia doesn’t affect memory until it is more advanced.

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