Crying "Help Me" in the middle of the night every hour.

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I care for my grandma with dementia. She's been high functioning to a point meaning she still uses the bathroom with accidents occasionally, can still feed herself, assists with dressing herself, takes her own pills, etc. Lately she's been calling out into the night, "HELP ME. LORD PLEASE HELP ME." Now before this point it was because she was in pain. This might still be the case as she has a lot of aches and pains. She's on pain shots to alleviate neck pain from a break 3 years ago. She has cortizone shots in various joints to help with that pain. Right now she's trying to have a sore heal up on her bottom but I'm changing her position to help alleviate that and she claims with the positioning changes she isn't feeling it as much.

Is there something dementia related that makes the crying out every hour happen ? I'm hoping there is not but I figure I'd reach out here in case.


You should ask her doctor but I do know that there are folks in my mom's memory care center that scream a lot - some with a purpose others like wild animals - awful dreaded situation for all concerned
I agree that you should report this as a change in behaviour. But it may be, too, especially if Grandma is rather deaf, that she doesn't realise how loud her calls are - have you asked her about them? Is she aware that she's doing it, even? I'm not saying that she should suffer in silence! - but it may be that she doesn't realise that others can hear her, perhaps. I might also grumble privately that it's a crying shame the Lord doesn't seem to be responding.

I'm sorry she's in such pain, poor lamb; and I'm sorry for your worry about her too.
There was a woman at my mom's day care that would sit in her wheelchair sometime whispering or yelling "help me". It was nearly constant. Since this is a behavior change has she been checked by her doc? Maybe a UTI?
Is she on any type of sleep medication? Nightmares or vivid dreams can be a side effect of the medication.
My mom was greatly helped by mirtazapine (remeron). Initially we thought it was all about pain as well and there was talk of starting dilaudid but I was reluctant because of constipation problems. It turned out the physical pain seemed to be more manageable once the emotional pain was addressed. As a bonus mom seemed much more herself during the day too, although that could have been a consequence of getting better sleep at night.
Similar to gladimhere, there was a woman at my mothers nh who also did this. I would see her every Friday sitting with a group in a common area where they had activities and on Friday's showed movies. The first time she did this as I walked through it was certainly disconcerting so I asked an aid I trusted about her and he told me she did that frequently and it was an expression of her anxiety. I also asked a resident whom I knew to be very sharp and she told me the same thing. Still - it's heartbreaking to hear. This woman never yelled or seemed upset even- always saying "help me" in a quiet, calm voice. I did notice in time, that when she had an activity she was participating in she didn't do this. Quite often she was kept busy sorting a huge tray of colored beads. Of course, giving your loved one an activity in the middle of the night is less than ideal - but perhaps, as others have suggested, getting her a medication to treat anxiety might be helpful in her situation.
Still thinking about you and your poor grandma. I'm wondering like Churchmouse, if your grandma is aware she's doing this? Could it be she is praying in the night and calling out - unaware of how loud she's speaking? But I'm still thinking about the anxiety angle. Would a stuffed toy help? I know the first time I saw this suggestion I thought it was kind of silly - but since that time have seen some individuals with dementia always holding onto a stuffed animal - as if a lifeline, extreamly attached and seemingly comforted.

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