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Does anyone have a suggestion as to a sleep aid that will give a dementia sufferer sleep vs. increasing the agitation, confusion and only making the dementia worse? My mother is 95, a hospice patient and lives with us along with my 85 year old father-in-law and our 4 month old grandson. My mother has been up numerous nights extremely confused. Of course, everything she says is very real to her and when I try to either reason with her or try to tell her she can't leave at 3am, she digs her heels in. There is no reasoning with her and I can't tie her to the bed. I need something to give her peace from her deeply confused state. I am exhausted and it breaks my heart watching her struggle with a mind that lies to her. Last night I was up all night trying to keep her from taking the car, that she quite driving 5 years ago, to pick up her brother, who died 12 years ago. She has no balance, her legs are weak and she can barely walk yet was fighting me tooth and nail because I had my hand on her arm trying to keep her from falling down. It is extremely frustrating for not only my family and myself, but her as well. I know if I could just give her a pill during those times that would knock her out and give her a good night's sleep by the next morning life would be better......for us all. Last night, I gave her a Darvocet, two Ativan and an anti-depressant that was supposed to help. HA! I know the doctors don't want to prescribe sleeping pills because they can be deadly in the elderly. I am exhausted because I care for my grandson during the day as well as my mother and now I am up all night too. I need some rest. I love my mother with all my heart and soul and would do anything for her comfort. All her life she told me, "If I EVER lose my mind, just pull the plug because I NEVER want to live like that." And here she is alive in the shell that was once my mother. It is so, so sad. I sure could use some suggestions.

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Will your mother drink warm milk before going to bed? Put some Brandy in it. I'm not kidding. I gave this advice to friends with your problem and it worked completely. Sometimes it takes a little freedom of thought, unique ideas, deceit or downright lying and lots of subterfuge to work out the inevitable problems and situations. Try going along with her. Go out and sit in the car, discover it's out of gas or turn on the engine and then turn it off and pretend you went. Sometimes this is all it takes to stop the delusion. Do everything to ease their mind, never contradict or argue. You may suffer the guilt of being deceptive, but they will be all the more compliant and easy to get along with when they are always getting their way. This was how it was for my mother and I. We had a lot of play acting and a lot of laughter.
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Many Blessings,

I am so sorry to hear this. I as well as many others understand. I finally had my Mother in Laws doctor give her something as I could not take it anymore either.

I have my own business that I run from home (15 clients all in mental health), a home, a husband, a 12 year old son, dog....and like everyone else the list is long.

My Mother In Law is a 3x stroke sufferer and has the onset or dementia as well as Stage II Myleodysplasia and SEVERE anxiety. Her doctor gave her Xanax to take at bed time. It has been a life saver! She is down for average 10-11 hours. She might get up once to go to the bathroom. But other than that it is a good night.

I will pray for you that you find what you are looking for soon.
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