Mom won't turn her light off at night!

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Help! Mom won't turn her light off at night. She seems to sleep okay with it on but she's getting up early and napping a lot during the day and then gets very confused about time of day.

I don't want to set her light to be off at night because she still gets up to go to the bathroom and used to turn on her light to do that. Now she's just leaving it on.

Any ideas?

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Jolly: you will do well because you are being PRO-active. A schedule, good food, sunshine and fresh air and HAPPINESS help so much. It took me quite a while to learn to be patient, learn to go with the 'flow' and understand that putting myself in my mother's position was more important than what "I" thought was necessary.

I say this all the time, they may not remember WHAT you said, but they WILL remember how you made them feel!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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Hey, you know what? I've been beating myself up because of this recent change but I realized that when my mom lived with my brother (until we moved her in with us last May) she would sleep or wander around all day and be up every hour, if not more, at night. She broke her wrist when she fell down outside while no one was home and she somehow broke a couple ribs just last year. We still don't know how that happened!

So, all in all, I have managed to get her into a better sleep routine - even if she does get up early now. And the suggestions here have helped us with the day/night issue.

Realistically, all is good! (As Mom sits her in her chair humming off key because she is tone deaf. Too funny!)
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Thanks, everyone!

MiaMadre, thank you for the advice! Mom lives with me and I care for her 24x7 with some help from my husband but he still works daily.

Even though it is winter here and it's been an exceptionally snowy one, I love daylight so my husband has daylight bulbs for all the major lights in our house. In addition, we don't have curtains at our windows, only blinds, and we keep the blinds open all day. Mom loves to look out the windows and constantly comments about the blue sky or the sun and the clouds.

At night, we keep the lights off in the rooms we are not using but we do have nightlights in most of the rooms to avoid my panic feelings and keep any of us from running into something.

At this point in time, she is going to bed by 9:30 pm and gets up during the night to go to the bathroom. In the last 8 months she has changed from waking between 7:30 and 8:00 am to now being up and dressed prior to 6:00. I don't get up until 6:00 and I keep the house dark while I do my exercises, then I begin making breakfast and we eat at 7:00.

We have the gate at the end of the hallway that, at this point, she doesn't know how to open and if she did manage to figure it out (she hasn't tried), it would make a racket and wake us. It limits her to her bedroom, our bedroom and the bathroom and we have locks on all the bathroom cabinets.

We have a key deadbolt on the outside door and I do have lots of recent pictures.

I've been contemplating the alarm pad and the cameras so I think I will move forward with that.

Thank you so much MiaMadre! Everyone else too! It's wonderful to know there are others there to turn to in this interesting time of my life!
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Christina you don't have to be either a babe or elderly to leave the light on at night..I can tell you there were many years I did not feel well or was depressed and many nights the light or the tv was on all night...helped me get through a lot of nights...simple light!

Good night y'all!
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magnoliatwin: I like your answer. We need to keep it SIMPLE when it is:) Bless you, and Jolly, and all the light-loving souls.
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just let her leave it on. u will not regret it when she"s gone. God Bless
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I spoke to my Mother's geriatric Dr. about the sleep thing. She said when they have dementia, and older ( mine is 93), their sleep cycles change! They are like cats, then: more wakeful at night, and sleeping on and off during the day. So, I was WRONG about the melatonin post before. Guess it doesn't apply to elderly, and I APOLOGIZE for the misinformation.
Hugs, christina
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When one of the wall lamps on one side of my mom's bed broke I replaced with an old fashioned hurricane lamp I had purchased (set of 2) and had stored at my mom's house. The bottom part has a night light and the top is the lamp and it is three way. Both parts lit, or only bottom nite light or top lamp. When I first set it up I asked my mom at night if she wanted it on she only then wanted the night light, it has now progressed where she wants all the light, so I have that lit up plus two other decorative night lamps (old fashioned boots) lit up next to it as well, plus the night light that shines from the bathroom attached to the room. So she likes light at night, I feel it's because she is slowly going blind and one eye is really bad, so it helps her at night. She likes to lay down we have trouble to get her walk around. She says she does not sleep at night, but I think she takes cat naps through the night and the day.
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Unless you are able to stay up with her, (can't remember if you are home all the time) and keep an eye on her, start looking to how you will cover 'both shifts'.

I still think that maintaining proper 'light levels during the day, even sitting in the sun, and then lowering lights at night so she will be sleepy is best. Also there are DVD/vcr tape of sleepy animals that will help.

Make sure your home is 'escape proof'. If you don't have deadbolt locks (where you hold the key), do this soon. Put motion 'security lights' around the house that will light up should she get outside. Put an 'alarm pad' that goes off if she get up in the middle of the night (alarm goes off in YOUR room) so you will know she is awake.

We had security cameras that would automatically turn on a light if Mom was milling about, and since I was a light sleeper it woke me up when the light went on.

I was able to 'be up' with her, MOST of the time, but this was very stressful for me. You will need 'help'. Someone to be UP in the house while you sleep. My husband was a late night person, so he covered MOST of the night, while I slept. It was very stressful. Some don't have any problems letting their loved ones 'wander around' at night, but there is more to it than just getting out of the house. At my brothers my mother almost set the house on fire when she started a 'fire' on the 'coal stove' (it was electric) because she was cold. Anything can happen.

So ideas for this stage; warning devices when she IS awake, low light security cameras so you can keep an 'eye' on her without disturbing her or agitating her, escape proof your house with locks, and motion lights.

OH... and something else that seems to be obvious but is overlooked. Make SURE you have a recent photo of her AND make sure that friendly neighbors know that Mom is ........ and if she is seen 'wandering' alone to call........ You never know. Hearing of stories (even from my brother) who left Mom alone quite frequently of elders that are 'missing' breaks my heart. He felt she was fine on her own, but I knew differently.

Even in a nursing home, there can be many problems once their sleep cycle is disrupted.

Well.. I have gone on and on... God bless... and thanks for the update.
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The 7 1/2 watt bulb is working and we put a timer on her big light so that it can only be on between 6:30 am and 10:00 pm. I also wore her out on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and kept her up and busy the last two days.

I wish I could say that all that worked and she is staying in bed better but that is not the case. She has still been up and dressed by 6:00 am when I get up.

I'm beginning to think I have to resign myself to the fact that she has reached that stage where she will be sleeping during the day and restless at night. Any help on that stage?
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