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and then have all kinds of symptoms at other times?

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Why? How? I don't think I've ever read a scientific explanation of showtiming. It is a well-documented phenomenon. Many of us have experienced it. But exactly what is going on in the brain to make it possible to temporarily overcome the deficits there is not understood. At least I've never heard it explained. I think the absence of triggers, as cwillie observes may be part of it.
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Back to the subject. It's called "showtiming". My mother was able to get away with it until almost the end of her life when she could no longer keep it together. Until then I was the evil one who put her in a NH (parkinsons, dementia and strokes). She told lies and turned people against me because they had no idea. According to her doc she'd had dementia for many years but no-one knew because she'd been spiteful and evil life long, but she did the "poor little me" to anyone who would listen.
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My dad could be funny and smart for awhile.. but then he would veer off into lala land...LOL If you didn;t know him you would fall for it, but like Jessie most of us know the story if we have lived it for awhile!
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Jessie most elderly men are just looking for a nurse with a full purse who can be cajoled into supporting them and waiting on them.
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They can fool people in social situations, particularly if the other people are not looking for cues. A good example is an older man who is trying to court me now. He seems like such a nice man, though he is a good bit older than me. After talking just a short time, I notice he has to ask me days and dates repeatedly. He also had trouble remembering my name, though he was interested in me. Big clues that there are memory issues at work here. So, outwardly he seems handsome and normal, but something is off. He could fool most people, but I'm not most people since I've been around it for a while.
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Partly because, many people are not being themselves in a social situation so a person with dementia, alzheimers or with cognitive disorders fits in nicely. imo.
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I think if they are aware at all that they are forgetful they will try to compensate, and often social situations don't include the triggers that set off bad behaviour at home (meals, toileting, bedtime, etc). I've also heard their symptoms can be worse after the social event because it takes a lot of effort to put on a good front. I can recall visiting with my great aunt (she lived to be over 100) and having a lovely chat about family and local events but later being told she had no clue who we were. Well, at least we had a nice visit! LOL
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I have read where someone who has Alzheimer's/Dementia can do what is called "showtiming", thus make people believe they are thinking in the present and nothing is wrong with them. After the showtiming is over, they are back to the normal type of symptoms.
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