• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Hostess Mode x 2

Ken Scott

New member
Oct 20, 2021
3
0
Hi I’m new to this forum so hope I’ve got posting right! Anyway here goes.
I have a close family relative with quite advanced but undiagnosed Dementia ( so don’t know what kind). She has all the classic symptoms: Short term memory completely gone, obsessive behaviour, accusations, resistive to help, repetitiveness ( like asking the same thing up to 10 times in a row) , ICA’s (Jumpy fits but on medication for that), suspicious of anyone but close family & at times suspicious of them too etc...
She however displays also all the signs of Hostess Mode. Although she needs and gets 24 hr care by her son & daughters who do this in shifts on a weekly rota, so 1 week in 3 each , and they quite literally do everything, as far as she is concerned though to anyone she talks to she does everything herself such as washing, ironing, Cleaning, cooking, baking, shopping etc.
So far so straightforward but there’s an added complication. One of her daughters in the caring cycle is also in Hostess mode and goes to great lengths to prevent ‘Mum’ being diagnosed. For example after a lot of ‘discussion’ with all siblings it was eventually agreed that the GP would do an assessment ( & cognitive ability test). This was arranged, but at fairly short notice by the said daughter & only informed to the others the evening before the visit. As the others live a long distance away they could not get there to support, so it was Mum & daughter with the doc.
She passed with flying colours ( 2 questions wrong out of 30) and was in full hostess mode ( cooking, baking, all myself etc) made a rhubarb pie yesterday ( on the table with the tea, but in fact baked by the daughter). The family know, but can’t prove that there was intense coaching prior to the visit, visual clues spread around the room and doc n daughter side by side with ‘Mum’ opposite so that eye contact could be maintained.
The dodging and weaving to avoid any retest since has to be seen to be believed & the atmosphere between the siblings is turning toxic ( it feels like storming the Bastille!)
Has anyone else on here had or is having a similar experience and if so is there any advice?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,945
0
Hi @Ken Scott and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
Although it wasn't quite the same scenario my husband and his siblings came very close to permanent fallings out when trying to manage their mother's care. In the end after lots of zoom meetings and some compromises they managed to agree on a plan and she is now in a care home, something that two of the siblings thought should never happen.
I'm wondering why the daughter is trying so hard to prove her mother is OK, is this something you can discuss with her and get to the bottom of it?
 

Ken Scott

New member
Oct 20, 2021
3
0
Thanks Sarasa, there’s no question of a care home , although fear of that is what is most likely driving the ‘Mum’ hosting behaviour.
There is a high degree of over protectiveness (cocooning almost) but there may also be reasons around ‘deemed capacity’ ( loss of control of influence once diagnosis is made).
 

Female1952

Registered User
Apr 6, 2021
35
0
Hi
What do the other siblings want?
A diagnosis? If so, they could write to the GP detailing their concerns. The GP can't discuss this with them but can read and consider what they say.
For their mother to accept carers? This will be difficult while their mother is in denial and their sister is 'colluding'. The other siblings don't have to go along with this. Bottom line- if push comes to shove, they can withdraw their help.
Does anyone have Power of Attorney (POA)? If not, this should be a priority but I guess it would be difficult to get agreement to this.
It's a very difficult situation but not unusual. I think the siblings need to decide what their aim is before they work out how to get there.
Good luck - and keep posting. Others will be along with more direct experience than I have.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
2,252
0
High Peak
I'm also wondering about the daughter's motivation is for pretending nothing is wrong. Have you actually asked her why she's doing it?

Being a very suspicious person, I'd be thinking about money. Is there any chance the daughter is manipulating her mother financially or doing something underhand, like getting her to change her Will? If she can convince the doctor that mum's OK, she could probably also convince a solicitor, which would be much harder if the mother had a dementia diagnosis...

Of course, I could be completely wrong (and hope I am!) but please check...
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
420
0
There might well be some skullduggery going on but, equally, it’s possible that the daughter in question just cannot face up to the idea that her mother has dementia, which is a horrifying diagnosis. I think that families can convince themselves that Mum or whoever is just getting old / just has her funny little ways / was always forgetful and disorganised. In this case, the siblings have colluded in the sister’s version of events, for whatever reason, and by offering so much support the mother’s problems are being masked. If they all stepped away things would no doubt go downhill rapidly.

The siblings could of course get together and challenge the sister’s version of events by writing to the GP and asking for another assessment. Alternatively, they could step away and leave the sister to provide all the care.

A pertinent question is who has POAs for the mother.
 

Ken Scott

New member
Oct 20, 2021
3
0
Thanks for the input folks. I like the term skullduggery :) and yes there is an element of that, I was being subtle in using the term deemed capacity’. As it turns out all the siblings have joint POA’s however the family solicitor states that while ‘mum’ retains capacity and undiagnosed any decisions are hers + any one of the POA’s , who jointly look after the banking , shopping, bills etc as she’s housebound for the last 3 years & not really too mobile. Although of course, she was telling me about her trip round to ASDA just two weeks ago on the community bus.....
So, there is some protection in place legally , if not quite robust. The key issue remains the denial of the problem. Since my last post there has been a major blow up as another of the siblings spoke to the GP about the wisdom of a hospital appt on a physical matter ( travel, anxiousness, Covid etc). The GP felt it was on balance something that would be wise to park for a few weeks. During that conversation the subject of memory/ behaviour was discussed.
Instant fireworks! How dare you/ interfering/ ‘mum could have a stroke if it’s not checked/ your fault if she does etc, etc. The real issue though was that the memory thing was mentioned to the GP.
As I’m 3rd party I don’t ( and can’t) interfere directly hence my turning to this forum to seek wisdom & advice in the hope of seeing if anyone else has experienced similar. Thanks again