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During the day I deal with my mother 93 who has constant anxiety attacks, hyperventilating, paranoia, etc. My sister and her friend came over last night and you would never know that she has anything wrong with her let alone dementia. She was lucid, offering to make coffee and walking without her walker. I know it is showtiming but it makes me look like a liar. It's going to drive me crazy.

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My niece's parents videotape their daughter's seizures so her doctors can actually observe how she presents when they happen. That's proven quite helpful.
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MYPETUNIA615,

There can be many reasons. Our loved ones may showtime for us so we don't put them in a facility but that façade doesn't last long.

Or they may showtime for Dr.'s and other medical personnel so we (as medical personnel) don't think they're sick.

Since we can't usually get an answer out of someone who showtimes about whey they do it all we can do is guess. My guess is that the loved one feels threatened, feels that their independence is being threatened. Which it usually is. They don't want their routine being upended and they usually want everything to stay just as it is.

They won't admit to having any pain or having any difficulty whatsoever out of fear that their routine may change, or that they may end up in a nursing home. So they deny, deny, deny. I'd do the same thing in their place.

That's my own personal opinion based on my experience. I'm working with a patient right now who had a stroke that affected his right side. His right hand is swollen and is painful. I know it's painful because I reached for his right hand once and he winced and jerked it back. I asked him how long he's had that pain and he denied having pain. I asked him to squeeze my fingers as hard as he could and his right hand could barely squeeze my fingers. But he will not admit that his hand is painful. He has a walker and he can't really navigate it using his right hand but he will deny all day long that his hand hurts. He wants---needs---everything to stay the same so he can stay in his home.

Denial and avoidance are two of the reasons why people behave one way with some people and behave another way with other people. Showtiming is hard work, it takes a lot of energy which is why it can't be sustained for long. Cracks start to appear. Our elderly loved ones want to hang onto their independence and their house and will do anything, try anything, to make sure they accomplish that.
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Thank you, Eyerishlass. Is there a reason for the change of behavior and attitude, or is it something we will never know?
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I work in hospice and when I do an assessment I encourage the family to participate. However there comes a point in the assessment when I do a brief physical and I ask the family to step out for just a minute or two. It's not so much for privacy's sake as it is wanting to see my patient when the family isn't sitting right there. Often there is a difference in behavior and attitude when the patient's family isn't in the room.
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Seriously, I understand. My dad's dementia has all but destroyed my mom and it's taking a toll on my ability to run my small business, my finances, my health and marriage. I placed my dad in an ALF last week before my mom ends up completely ruined. I'm only able to give up so much before all of the things I worked for begin to slide away. I try to do the best I can for my parents but sacrificing 1-2 decades of my life is not acceptable. Hoping once he gets settled, the rest of us can start living again.
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Thank you Upstream. Sometimes I feel like she can turn it on and off and I am the lucky one who gets to see the dementia side of it. Here I was beside myself with her hyperventilating thinking it was a serious lung problem even though I just had her checked out by a geriatric doctor. She can't walk two inches without gasping for air, and yet last night she didn't need her walker and her breathing was fine. I swear I am going to end up in the psychiatric ward before she goes to a nursing home.
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I think that's normal. I get frustrated when I take my dad to the doctor and he seems about 95% normal, but at home he forgets who we are, wanders, and thinks we are part of a "religious cult" that has taken up occupancy in his home and stealing money from him. Maybe try videoing her with your cell phone a few times and saving to share. It sounds cruel but I did that to my dad once (he didn't know) so I would have proof if needed.
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