Getting the best out of life.

It's very easy to be overwhelmed with life changes when you're bogged down in circumstances beyond your control but life is what you make it and sometimes those changes can actually be used to good effect.  For instance I go over to my mum's once a week which could be viewed as something else to be fitted into a busy schedule especially on the weeks when she is driving me up the wall.  Instead I love the four hours I have completely to myself while she's at her 'posh lunch club' and whenever possible use them to relax in peace and quiet.  In dementia one of the things that families often find hard to handle is when their loved one goes into 'host' mode, behaving differently when others are around than they behave with the one most closely concerned with caring for them.  This can have the effect of making it seem as if they 'don't have dementia very badly' which I can see must be difficult if you're trying to persuade professionals, or even other family members, that there is a problem.  There is however another way of looking at it I think.  I've noticed that Ash is able to function well in some social situations.  I've also noticed that afterwards he is quiet and spends time doing nothing other than watching yet another episode of The Chase or simply staring into space.  I could, as some people are, be irritated by this looking on it as an example of him making more of an effort with others than he does with me but I know that's not true.  He can cope in a social situation as long as it's not a large group but  he does find it all tiring at the very least and even, quite possibly, exhausting as he manages to keep up with what's going on.  So I have a choice.  I can be irritated by the 'hosting mode' and keep us in isolation or I can (and do) manage the situation carefully so that we have a better social life than we've had in a long time.   I know which I prefer and understanding the behaviour is the key.

Please feel free to comment or email me at  I'd love to hear from you.


Sarah H said…
I like the ‘host mode’ idea - think it is probably a lot more common that we think . . .
Ann said…
Yes I see the ‘host mode’ too, on a regular basis, and I also think it’s so courageous of my OH to make such a tremendous effort to appear ‘normal’ (ie sociable). Especially as I know how much this takes out of him, both physically and mentally.

So apart from the odd occasion (ie when you are trying to get help for both of you), I love to see my wonderful OH be as he was (before this horrific disease took over). Even if it is only for a short time......long may the ‘host mode’ last.

As Jane has quite rightly stated, it’s about turning a negative into a positive.