Should I be concerned about my mother talking in the third person?

Forget me not asked...

My 88 year old mother moved in with us in July 2010. I have a similar issue. Although she doesn't have Alzheimer's,(as far as I know), the past month she has been speaking about me in the third person. For example, she'll say "They don't want me to use that cloth for the table. They only use it for the sink." or "They told me I have a doctor's appointment today". [In both instances, she is talking TO me about things that I have said.]Should I be concerned about this?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Alzheimer's patients usually can't remember things well, so the fact that she remembers that someone told her these things would indicate that she doesn't have signs of that disease.

However, I admit that this is an odd behavior, and I am not sure why she would do this. Perhaps she is doing it because she feels like you are telling her what to do. She may be using third person to emphasize that she doesn't like to be told what she should be doing. So, I would ask her what is going on with her talking like that.
Good luck!