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My wife has dementia

Harky

Registered User
Oct 13, 2021
24
0
When we're out, if we meet anyone, they're oblivious to the problem. Her old self comes out. Nice bit of humor and yet on our own, this doesn't happen.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
65,470
0
70
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @Harky.

I’m sorry to hear that your wife has dementia and can understand how upsetting it must be when she’s different when you meet others. I think a lot of members will have experienced the same thing.

I’m glad you’ve found this forum and I know you will get lots of help and support here.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
154
0
Yes! They seem to make a super-human effort to appear “normal” in front of people. Just going by my own experience, it takes a lot out of them to do this - sometimes they’re a bit of a handful afterwards or very tired. It’s very frustrating for the carer who knows how bad they really are but isn’t believed by anyone else!
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,433
0
It's often referred to as "Hostess mode" and can appear to make them normal, be careful, this can lead to professionals being taken in to say there is no problem here. When in actual fact there is a very real underlying problem.
When taking them to GP.s Memory clinic, etc. it is best to prewarn by way of a letter that there are issue's that need to come out. (Being accused of Letting the cat out of the bag, by my father on several occasions. I was going to tell the truth, come what may, it got him the help he needed.)

Bod
 

Harky

Registered User
Oct 13, 2021
24
0
Thanks for replying folks. Although she sometimes thinks I'm someone else, when she sees our sons she always recognises them and appears normal. It's quite funny sometimes when she's on the phone with them, she'll ask where they think I am. I txt them to say I'm listening to her and I'm sitting in the living room. They say if I hadn't txt'd they were sure she was telling the truth. They can be so convincing, so I pre warn any Dr. we see as by my experience, they're not too good (or at least that's my perception) at reading the situation as she's so convincing. I've been fooled myself, I know 3 ex work colleagues with dementia and I was convinced the diagnosis was wrong as we had a great conversation. For anyone interested, I bought a dog robot pet for her. She's convinced it's real and is a great companion for her.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
1,620
0
Newcastle
Hi @Harky I am sorry to hear about your wife. After mine had been admitted for full time residential care a dog-walker we often spoke to enquired where she was. She seemed almost disbelieving when I told her, saying that she had considered my wife a little eccentric. People often miss the very obvious clues or perhaps think they have misunderstood. Unfortunately that is true of professionals as well. One might hope that they might see past the hostessing ...
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
402
0
There are three things that can disguise the existence of dementia:
• the person may be very confident and convincing when s/he answers the kind of questions that, say, a SW asks eg about managing falls, eating etc. (this is particularly the case if the person still retains verbal fluency)
• there are a lot of social niceties and generic questions which give the impression that the person is less cognitively impaired that s/he is eg ‘how are you and yours?’
• the person talks away and controls the conversation so that s/he doesn’t have to answer questions or talk about things that s/he can’t remember or doesn’t understand

My elderly friend is a master of all of the above and I’ve had to warn many health and social professionals that she’s more impaired than she appears. She is cheerful, polite and sociable and loves talking. She will talk about the history of the area, in which she has lived all her life, and this gives the impression that she is compos mentis. She answers questions very confidently and to those meeting her for the first time she sounds very convincing eg if I fall I crawl to the phone and ring someone (this has never happened) eg I cook a roast every Sunday (that hasn’t happened for over a year).
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,283
0
My dad has similar skills and can be quite charming. He isn't realistic about things he can do and sounds credible when he talks to people about how he intends to do garden and maintenance projects, get a new car, etc. none of which are realistic. It can easily give the impression that he is much more capable than he is.
 

Harky

Registered User
Oct 13, 2021
24
0
My dad has similar skills and can be quite charming. He isn't realistic about things he can do and sounds credible when he talks to people about how he intends to do garden and maintenance projects, get a new car, etc. none of which are realistic. It can easily give the impression that he is much more capable than he is.
Just to back from a day with family at their home. On the surface she was great with a bit of humor thrown in. Got home tonight, my sons phoned to see we got home safely and thought the day went very well. After 10minutes at home she was a nervous wreck and in tears. Think the effort taken to appear ok gets too much and all the tension just releases.
 

Harky

Registered User
Oct 13, 2021
24
0
It's often referred to as "Hostess mode" and can appear to make them normal, be careful, this can lead to professionals being taken in to say there is no problem here. When in actual fact there is a very real underlying problem.
When taking them to GP.s Memory clinic, etc. it is best to prewarn by way of a letter that there are issue's that need to come out. (Being accused of Letting the cat out of the bag, by my father on several occasions. I was going to tell the truth, come what may, it got him the help he needed.)

Bod
Big thanks for the HOSTESS MODE. It answers all my questions. You think you're the only one experiencing it but it appears that most suffer from it. I've told my family to Google it as I'm just back from an excellent day visiting family and she was on great form. Arrived back home and she went to pieces. On a lighter note, my granddaughter suffers from it (and probably other people's) she is angelic in our eyes but her parents say different. Thinking further back, our sons were the same.
 

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