Caring for my grandma with dementia is like an emotional roller coaster.

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One of my dearest friends found this site yesterday and asked me to have a look. I was blown away at the amount of people out there going through exactly what I am going through.
My gran is 88 years old and living with me. She has dementia and sometimes its so great to see her smiling and a little compos mentis cos she and I can have good conversation, granted they're about passed experiences and she brought me up so its good memories. Other times its not so great. Like her taking off her clothes (which I've read here is a common thing) and removing her nappy (which was starting to get to me cos then there's a urine smell that feels overwhelming everywhere).
Now that winter is here and the mornings and evenings are cold, I worry about her catching flu when she takes off all her clothes and lies naked in her bed.
On Sunday night it was the worst cos she started at 2am and didn't finish till 7am. By that time I was a walking zombie. I kept going back to lie in bed and hope to heaven that she wouldn't freeze. Her last call for me was to tell me that she was freezing and that she was never coming back here again. She was going home tomorrow (but she's lived in this house for 30 years now) and she never wants to see me again. I was angry with her and at the same time very heart sore. Then this morning, it was like yesterday morning didn't exist, she hugged me and smiled and told me she loves me.
Not an easy thing for me to deal with at the moment.

I've been taking care of my gran for about 4 or 5 years now, since her stroke. Before then, she was always somehow taking care of me.


Hi Kitt, Welcome to AC! I just found this site last June. I've hopped around and read anything of interest - even if it doesn't concern my situation. From my readings, it sounds like your gran has "sundowner" or something like that. I think my mom had that too. When she was able to walk, she started walking and walking and walking in the late afternoons...and all night. Even when bedridden, she would sleep all day and be wide awake at nights. Late evenings, like 8p, she would go missing. We would all be out looking for her. Finally, father added several locks up on top of the door and one in the middle near the doorknob and a third one down near the floor. So, mom may unlock 1 out of 3. That solved the wandering out into the night.

I just read recently about some posters mentioning their parent stripping their clothes off. It sounds like it's a stage that they go through. How long a stage? I'm not sure. But I have also read that some posters would go to this other website to buy their parents special clothing so that they don't strip at night. I'm sure those who actually experience this will be able to comment better than me!

You can try Searching by using the top right. I've used that several times to find a certain topic. Welcome!
Last night was the test of my endurance. I said goodnight to her, then at 2:17 am which is the time she usually calls for me, I went to her and she was completely naked. So I just put on the new nappies I got which are like panties, put all her wet stuff in the washing machine. Covered her up (didn't dress her) with lots of blankets and a duvet, said goodnight and went back to sleep. I woke up at 8 am (which is a blessing cos usually I'm trying to always dress her and she is always calling me for the same thing) and she was still lying in the same position that I left her in the early hours of the morning. I'm so grateful for this site because I got a peaceful sleep and she also got sleep and no more calling for me.
Hi Kitt - I'm glad we helped you. I'm sorry for not doing the research for you. But I was too tired. Anyway, it's good that you learn how to do searches for future references. When you have spare time, I'd recommend just hopping from the different topics so that you would know what to expect with your gran. When I found this site, I read everything - even though I wasn't married, etc...I read problems within the marriage due to caregiving of parents, etc...

One thing I would like to recommend - Please watch Teepa Snow's videos. She helps us caregivers to understand and how to react to our "charges with dementia." Her videos are funny but very, very informative. I once in a while go to her YouTube videos to re-watch. Most people end up buying her videos. I prefer the freebie - YouTube...I think you (like I do) will benefit from it very, very much!!!!
Thank you so much for that advice bookluvr - I watched a few Teepa Snow videos and now have my gran doing all sorts of stuff with the understanding that she is helping me. Its so nice to see her smiling.

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