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SHE SEEMS TO GET SELECTIVE DEMENTIA AT TIMES

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Zoey, My MIL can be totally in touch one minute and out of it the next. Only a complete neuro-psych exam can really get to the bottom of it and you can ask the MD to order one. Bear in mind that if she was a manipulative person before dementia, she will become MORE manipulative as the dementia progresses. If she habitually was trying to make other people look bad, she will continue to do so, but in dementia she create bizarre and unbelievable scenarios.
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Hi I'm new to this forum, I have a certified family home and a CNA. I've worked in the scu of my last job for a couple yrs. My mom in law has AD. My big issue with her is not the showtiming,, that's no big deal but she tells lots of untruths to put it nicely. About herself or people around her.and she's always been vain and extreamly stubborn. I've learned alot from this patient, but I was wondering if some of you have experienced these other behaviors and can offer me more advice. One thing I've learned about dementia and AD is you never know enough...
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I have a cousin-by marriage- who has been "diagnosed" as having early stages of dementia. Her daughter in law believes that having this person volunteer in a day care center and work with toddlers-holding, rocking, kissing them- will be an outlet for her and provide time for the husband to get rest and have time for the things be like to do and take care of business things. I have been asked by the daughter in law to find day care centers for children that her mother-in-law can go to on a daily basis to volunteer. As a former early childhood educator, I am not comfortable with this idea. Please help me with this question.
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Zoe, I would doubt that it's truly a matter of faking. I mean, it could be. But I would try to react and act with the assumption that she is ill. Chickie, my dad and I have found that my mom's mean comments have dropped off drastically since we started avoiding arguing with her at almost any cost. It's hard sometimes, but we try to switch the subject, say that we must have been mistaken, etc. But it definitely is hard sometimes. I do think Aricept has decreased her agitation as well, but it's mostly we who have changed. Also, there are conditions besides dementia that have dementia-like symptoms. Get the thyroid checked. And dementia can be exacerbated by a urinary tract or other infection.
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chickie04: Scroll up to read my original response to Zoey. It may well apply to your husband as well.
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I absolutely agree with Zoey. I have been experiencing some issues with my husband. First of all, he hasn't even been diagnosed however I took action surfing the web and truly think he has dementia. He has not been his usual self for about 6 months now, however for about the last 2 days he is acting himself like he used to. I myself sometimes think that he may be faking also as mean as it seems yet I will see what happens next...by the way he is 61yrs.old...anyone else experienced this problem?
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One of the saddest aspects of some dementia cases is the failure of the family/caregiver to recognize that this is a disease outside of the victim's control. Celebrate and embrace the good moments and days. Do your best through the not-so-good or downright-horrid days. The "faking" that can occur in dementia is a behavior called "showtiming." Until the dementia is advanced, the patient can often with great effort put on a show to appear normal. They can do this in a doctor's office, or for company, for example. Often the effort wears them out; there is a limit to how long they can keep it up; and eventually they can't do it at all. But a caregiver may say, "Huh. If they can be that reasonable in front of Lucy, they can darn well get their act together for me." Sorry. Showtiming is a limited-time behavior, usually reserved for outsiders.

I think that all dementias have some degree of ups and downs. But as others have said, it is a core characteristic of Lewy Body Dementia. My husband can be quite coherent and carry on an intelligent conversation in the morning, and be quite confused in the afternoon. Some days I'll drive and he can navigate a complex route from memory. Other days he can't find the bathroom in our home.

Zoey, unless you have some specific reason to think that your mil is faking her dementia and there is something she gets out of it, I would seriously doubt that she is able to control when the dementia takes over.

What does her doctor say?
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I whole heartedly agree with LewySavy. Lewy body dementia does have these symptoms. Follow advice and to to lbda.org.
It seems many are diagnosed with Alzheimers, when it is really Lewy Body...although the end stage is pretty much the same. I do a lot of research....have too much time on my hands.
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Fluctuating cognition is a hallmark of Lewy body dementia. She may have this; it's the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's. Early on, the normal periods can last for weeks. In time, the periods will be reduced and can be in the 'few minutes' range. Suggest you go to the Lewy Body Dementia Assn. website, lbda.org, to learn of the other symptoms as well. Copy some of the information to take to her doctor.
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Zoey, I think the true test will be time. Most things come to light eventually given enough time. The old saying 'time will tell' is true.
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From what I've read and experienced with my own mother, there's fluctuations in cognitive functioning with a diagnosis of dementia and of course things like a bladder infection could affect thought process.
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Zoey - I don't know if you CAN know what is faked and what is true dementia. Daughters, husband and I still believe Mom 'faked' a good deal of her Alzheimer's dementia - she died last month at 89. But still the questions lingers . . .a person with end stage Alzheimer's who can occassionally articulate complex thoughts and complete sentences ("Supper's all right, I guess" or "Those are pretty socks") as she did from time to time and even just a few weeks before her death. I don't know. With my mom it will always be a mystery.
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Could you provide some examples? Does she live with you? (That is, how often do you see her?)
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FAKING OR NOT
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