94 year old mother has Lewy Body Dementia. She lives with me. She fits her diagnosis to a tee. I deal with a lot of crazy things with her but when we go to the Dr she has sudden clarity that makes her appear much better than she is. Or if grandkids come to visit her she is a totally different person than what my husband and myself see on a daily basis. Does anyone else experience this type of behavior with LO?

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My mother has dementia, but can showtime like an Oscar winning actress in front of the right audience. I don't understand it, how they're able to hide the truth so expertly when necessary, but I continue to witness it all the time. I personally believe they rely on muscle memory to make small talk, fooling others into believing they're fine. But, if asked specific questions that require real thought, THAT is when the struggle shows up. It's all very confusing and aggravating, too, isn't it? They tend to make US look like liars or bad guys for trying to say THEY have an illness!
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Reply to lealonnie1
AlvaDeer Aug 24, 2019
You are SO right, and described it so perfectly, LeaLonnie. They can confabulate wonderfully with small talk. But when one gets specific with any testing it all falls to pieces. Often the "visitors" don't get beyond the social nice-ities to see the reality.
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My mom is the sweetest person around others. The staff at rehab described her as a "joy". But when you get past the facade, things begin to fall apart. Problem is she can keep going long enough to fool most people. She keeps her true self for her daughters and my dad. Negative, stubborn, demanding and self centered. Did I mention downright mean at times? It seems as though she has a switch she can turn on and off at whim. Very frustrating... part of the disease, but in my case, part of her personality. are not alone in this journey....only those who live the day to day know the reality. Good luck, this isn't easy, but this site does help get us through the rough patches.
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Reply to Abby2018
againx100 Aug 26, 2019
Lordy, that's annoying!
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So glad you posed this question. We walk away every time we are with my father in law just shaking our heads and with hurt feelings. With some family members he just flat out pretends to be asleep in his chair. With us he acts like a sad miserable man and wants everyone around him to feel bad. He has one sister so wrapped around his finger its abusive. When a pretty nurse or his aide or the baby of the family comes in, he is as pleasant as can be and can miraculously hear again. It is so irritating because my husband, his sister and me are the one's that handle everything for him. He is in assisted living now and his needs are met. If we were still caring for his ADL's I think I would throw in the towel. What is Lewy Body Dementia? I have never heard of it. Would love an answer. We used to take it personally then we thought maybe its because we are the one's that he sees the most. Confused..
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Reply to cindic0911
Lymie61 Aug 27, 2019
Or the ones he is most comfortable around, trusts most. It's like being married once you live with someone you start to let your "front" down and start throwing your socks on the floor, subconsciously he knows he isn't going to send you away by not putting on his "best self", it isn't an insult it's a loving complement. Hard to live with but a compliment still the same.
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Oh dear, am I familiar with "showtime". I get it all the time from my brother. He has advanced dementia and can still pull it off. Sometimes the nursing home sends him to the hospital by ambulance and I meet him there. I think the only part of the report the NH sends to the hospital is read are the med. list. They ask him questions and he answers them incorrectly, but no one would ever know. I have to pull them aside and explain he has advanced dementia. Only then do they get it. They will discover it if they talk to him long enough, but I have seen the master of magic appear and maintain for awhile... It happens with the few people who visit him too. I keep my sister informed about his condition - they send a friend to confirm...grrrr...and he acts as normal as can be. However, the last time she came, he did fall asleep while she was talking to him. She thought he was dead...I just cracked up and said, "I guess you can see what is going on a little better?".
It is no reflection on you. It is part of the condition.
Dementia patients know there is something wrong, but can't figure it out. They try to protect their dignity by acting normal. In their minds they know they should know the answers to questions and learn how to wing the answers. It is one of the saddest things to watch. Now it is difficult for him to continue to hide his condition, but still works at it.
Try to be patient, try not to take it personally and don't beat yourself up with guilt or feeling foolish. It is no reflection on you. It is just part of the program... :(
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Reply to montanacmm

This condition is unbelievable. When it is just the two of us my Alzheimer's husband can barely walk, and can't put two words together, and refuses to do anything. But as soon as a medical professional is here, he walks with no problem, and answers questions with a full vocabulary, and does what ever they ask. I was beginning to think it was all one big joke he was pulling on me to get my full time attention, then I learned about "Showtime". But the strange thing is, none of medicare nurses or therapists who come to treat him have heard of "Showtime", and I have to explain it to them! Now I'm wondering about their qualifications!
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Reply to raspberryfarm

That's surely very frustrating for you...
(I didn't know patients with dimentia could act more coherent by choice!) Odd. It adds: "insult to injury", cuz you use so much energy caring 4 them & they manipulate you like that. Pretending they're fine, & you look like a liar? That would be quite discouraging I think. Sorry ur hurt.
My mother acted nice 2 anyone but me, but I never had her checked for dimentia, cuz she'd always been that way.
I wish you well friend, please try to have yourself a massage or something you'd like once in a while.🌷
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Reply to Tiger55
Getkicksonrte66 Aug 27, 2019
I don’t think they have the wherewithal to manipulate. It’s just something there able to do. My sister can seem “normal” for 10-20 minutes but after that it all falls apart. Give them a memory test, and you’ll see they cannot actively manipulate diddly squat.
My mom, does her best to mask her cognitive decline in front of her doctor. Up until a year ago when I contacted her doctor about concerns the family was seeing with her he had not picked up any signs that she was in trouble.

Once we made him aware he started questioning her and found there was reason for concern and ordered tests and referrals for further evaluation.

No no matter how bizarre mom has been acting during the day, she miraculously tones it down for the doctor hoping he will agree she is able to live on her own again.

We always make a point to confer with doctor prior to her visits so he is aware of any changes to behavior that may be of concern. As soon as doctor visit ends so does her facade. It is fascinating to watch.
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Reply to Kitty19
cindic0911 Aug 26, 2019
So smart. We figured this out with my father in law. He was off his rocker at home then able to ask and answer the right questions for the Doctor. Was so maddening, because we knew he was in trouble. I started writing a short note explaining our concerns for that appointment and his medical conditions at the time. I would give it to the front desk and request that the Doctor review it before stepping into the room. It was the best thing we ever did. The Doctor's actually appreciate the help and seemed more receptive to us.
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With some patients it sure looks like 'manipulative behavior on purpose' -- and with a few it probably really is.

With most patients, it's more like 'it takes a huge effort to act socially acceptable, and when the stranger has left I can relax'.

Social skills are often the last part of verbal interaction to disappear. I had a patient once who was nearly non-verbal with the womenfolk of family and staff, but whenever she heard a man's voice she would become charming, even flirtatious. Took a long time for her male primary care doctor to realize that she could no longer live alone -- he was so blinded by her charming joking around that he missed the confabulation.

Meanwhile she was leaving her apartment at 3 am to knock on the neighbor's doors and say 'they're not supposed to leave me alone, I don't know what to do, can you help me find my daughter' (the daughter lived in another state).
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Reply to maggiebea

Seen it with my own eyes and was shocked beyond words. A knock down drag out at home, totally out of control, talking about dead people who had been visiting all day, one spying on her while sitting on a tree limb outside the house. Was going to take her to ER and she got really violent and we were afraid she would try to open the car door while driving. Soooo- called an ambulance. It was like someone installed a different memory card. She answered EVERY single question correctly, very calm, smiling, chatting it up with the EMT guys. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

From posts on this site, I now see that it is very common.
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Reply to my2cents

I was just telling a friend about confabulation yesterday, cuz her dad is probably doing it.

My mom does it too. Frustrating. And she sound completely "normal" when she's telling stories to my kids or family, etc. but I KNOW that what she's saying is suspect at best. Guess it doesn't really "matter" but just kind of weird.
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Reply to againx100

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