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We had a meeting with Hospice yesterday, her DR ordered the meeting because she has lost so much weight and wouldn't get out of bed for weeks. Mom was talking to all of them and was seemingly coherent and as soon as they all left she started hearing voices and music again. She stayed up the night before asking me to turn the music off and saying someone is in the house. I just don't understand this, any ideas for me? My siblings help but then take off and I spend every night with Mom.

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Yes, it is called showtiming. Your mom pulls herself together for short periods of time (that is all she can handle), while with you she is more comfortable and will be what is normal for her. You could have your sibs take over her care for a few days, but if they are in denial they may only see what they want to see. I am surprised that a dr. would not understand this. I guess we have been fortunate with mom's PCP since he was a resident dr. at a nursing facility until his private practice became too much to attend to a nursing facility. He listens to us and accepts what we say, he is also my PCP. Have you considered taking your mother to a Geriatric Physician who specializes in the care of the elderly? Having a full evaluation by a specialist may be necessary and have at least one of your siblings go with you to hear the evaluation.
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Yes, showtiming is frustrating for caregivers! While it is nice to see a loved one acting "normal" for a while, because it is always in front of others it gives a false impression to outsiders. Even doctors can be fooled by it (if they have little training i dementia care).

Before I knew it had a name and was common, it drove me nuts that whenever my sisters saw my husband he was "fine."

A month after the onset of his dementia I had to be hospitalized on an emergency basis. With no prep or warning, our five kids took over caring for him around the clock, for a week. Believe, there was never a point after that that any of them thought I was exaggerating or that Dad wad "fine."

If at all possible, people to whom it is important to understand the real situation should spend extended time with the person who has dementia. A visit of a few hours or a phone conversation just isn't enough to get past the showtiming.
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Oh, it has a name! Showtiming, that's great! Just reading about other people's experience helps. I kept telling my husband's siblings that their mother was having memory issues and they didn't see it. A doing well during a 10 minute phone call isn't representative of her function. I feel vindicated and validated.
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Thank you all for making me feel better about this subject, I know I am not alone now. Mom was accepted into Hospice today and they checked her vitals and assessed her. She won't get up today and I had a hard time getting her take her pills. This is just 2 days after not sleeping all night and no naps, seeing strangers in the house and hearing voices and music. She was diagnosed with onset Dementia 3 months ago, and after a fall and ex-rays on her hip they found a 6 cm mass on her ovary. He PCD said it is growing and nothing to do for it since she is at risk for surgery. She is not in pain (she says) and I feel she rallied for a couple days to see her kids and not have a feeding tube inserted as the POD suggested.
She was like her old self for a couple days and very specific about what she wanted to eat. (2 shrimp, radishes and carrots) This is so strange to me...now won't get up.....thank you again for listening and helping me understand more about this strange behavior. One day at a Time!!!!!
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Yes...mimi you are not alone. It's part of the disease dementia, they can be so nice and act much more normal around strangers. My mom did this quite often. When my family came to see her she would be just like she was before the diagnoses. Only a little estranged. But family members never saw the difference...I did. It's called "Showtiming" Only until the family were here day and night did they see things differently. Don't worry...Hospice see's this everyday. Nothing new to them...soon they will see the true person she is the more they visit and the more you talk to them. Never be shy about talking about what you are experiencing. Because hospice is not only there for her...they are there for you. You can get some respite when you need it. And they will set things up. And if you have just started the care giving journey...let me just say. You are going to need the respite. So take up on it when you can.
As for the voices and music she is having delusions...it's another part of dementia? Has your mom had a diagnoses? If she has maybe find out from her doctor what they think she has? Its helpful to know more about what you are dealing with...google Teepa Snow she is a nurse that gives excellent advice on the care for a dementia patient. You can learn a lot about the disease too? Maybe see some symptoms of what you see in your mom. Good luck...I know it's a hard journey. But just know we are here when you need to talk...we all know what you are going through. God Bless
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OMG. This happens to me ALL THE TIME! Its like automatic. Whenever there's a visit by somebody, suddenly the whining, the shouting of pains, etc etc etc are gone! No wonder people think we are capable to handle this by ourselves because they dont see the reality. And as for parents maybe its about shame/face & denial. Owhhh thankyou mimialoha for bringing this up!
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My dad also did this. When he was with me he'd talk about people trying to kill him and seeing people with guns and knives. He'd admit to being in pain and also around me he was in great anguish. I'd report this to the nurse and she'd come in and ask him how he was doing, ask him a few questions, and he'd be fine. He'd never talk about these supposed people who were trying to kill him and when asked if he had pain, he'd say no. It drove me crazy and I felt that it made me look like a lunatic to the staff. The social worker told me that he trusted me 100% so he felt 'safe' in telling me all of these horrible things that were going on around him (in his mind), that I was his caregiver therefore he felt he could trust me with this information. But in front of other people he appeared completely normal, although he had a loopy fog about him. Since the staff didn't know him well they couldn't see it. It was very frustrating. Even my brother didn't see that side of him. Just me. The only way anyone is going to see what you see is if they spend time with your mom and not just a visit because as you already know, she puts her best face forward during a visit. Your siblings would have to spend at least 24 hours with your mom. As you said, your mom gets tired being "on" for any length of time. If one of your siblings could spend the night with her they'd see the cracks.

I understand how frustrating this is for you, mimialoha. At least you're finding out that you're not the only one this has happened to and that there's a name for it. When I was with my dad I'd get "Paranoid Dad" but when my brother visited he'd get the dad who could chat about books and movies and current events. I used to tell my brother, "I want YOUR dad!"
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Mimi, I am serious. Plan a weekend getaway and simply give your siblings the dates and tell them Mom needs their care. Period. They may choose to pay for a 24/7 caretaker and that will tell you volumes. The fact is that it is sadly common for the care of an elderly parent to rest on one child. It grieves me as I, too, go through this. But I have taken time off, and I have given dates to them - and they've had to manage organizing care for Mom (she is now in a nursing home).
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My Mom does the same. She is 98 and at doctor visits comes off pretty with it for her age. However, when she is in her comfort zone with me truth is clear. As JessieBelle stated it is called showtiming, I learned very much about it from this site. Mom does come home exhausted whenever we need to go to the doctors or even out doing anything that involves other people. My Mom also hears music....I just tell her she has better hearing than I do or I hope it is a song she likes. If you need proof for others regarding her "issues" get a digital recorder and record her while she is being/doing the things that no one believes. That includes the middle of the night wanderings. There is a supplement called Melatonin to help with sleep. It is in the vitamin section. I get the 3mg size. Ther are no side effects and can be taken with any other medications. It really does work. My hyper active 10 year old granddaughter was prescribed by her doctor for sleep. It works for her, no problems. Asked the doctor if anyone could take it and she said, "sure". So, I tried it, no problems. Gave it to Mom, no problems. At least the nights are quiet!
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My mother can pull off being normal when people are around. She usually talks of safe things about the children and her past or she remains silent. It is very tiring for her, though. If she spends 2-3 hours being normal with people, it is like she ran the mental marathon. As her memory is fading more, she seems to be avoiding contact with others more. Perhaps because it is too much work to keep up appearances that all is okay -- something called showtiming.
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loveispatient thank you for responding, I feel all alone right now. Like nobody understands me. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. If I call siblings to let them know how Mom is doing they say stop complaining that's why Hospice is coming. If I don't call them they say why are you hiding things about Mom. Just another day I guess, so will pull up my boot strings and survive another day.
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I get it. Ask your siblings to come and stay with her and you take a needed break. Let them finally experience what you know to be true.
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