How do I deal with my mom who has serious dementia and suffers from incontinence and sleeping problems?

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At nite, she wakes me up every 60 minutes or so to urinate, and half the time doesnt. She does not have a UTI. Have tried vesicare, as well as a patch to slow down urine production, gabapentin, lexapro, seraquel, lunesta, xanax, tramadone, to try to have her sleep for a least four hours...gone to neurologist, urologist, gynocologist, geriatric doctor... Can anybody offer an advice... Ps liquids after six pm...she has no other ailments except glucoma... Thank you!!

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Oh my! You must both be bouncing off the walls! Nobody can function without decent amounts of uninterupted sleep. I feel for you!

This is the one problem that would have caused me to place my husband in a care center if it had not been resolved. (In our case seraquel worked.) You cannot be a caregiver without sleep. A zombie caring for a demented person is a pretty scary thought!

It sounds like you have been very thorough in your attempts to resolve this. The only other resource I can think of, and I'm not sure it is appropriate but it might be worth at least a call, is a sleep disorder center. I assume you've given each of the drugs a reasonable time to work -- sometimes they take a while to build up in the system. I found a low dose of trazadone worked well for helping me stay asleep, but it gave me blurred vision so I had to drop it. You might ask the geriatrician about that.

Until you get this resolved, I strongly suggest a night caregiver to relieve you so you can sleep. I had various relatives take turns for a while. The only other option, it seems to me, is to place her where there is staff available 24 hours.

Where is she cognitively? Would she be able to understand a goal and cooperate with you to work toward something you both want? She could wear incontinence pants or a pad, and not use the bathroom more than every 2 hours in the daytime and every 4 hours at night. Since the problem isn't excess urine production but rather the perception of needing to go, the pants probably won't even need to be changed between bathroom visits. If she can do this with your help, it will help you make sure you can keep her at home. I would certainly avoid any suggestion that a NH would be a punishment. Just that you both want her to stay home and this is something you can both try to make that possible. This would depend on her cognitive abilities at this point. Is it something she could understand?

I really wish I had a magic answer, because you problem is very serious. I am grateful than 100 mg seroquel works for us. I hope you can find something that works for your mother.
Since I've been dealing with insomnia myself (isn't that ironic, after getting my husband's issues resolved?) I can share a couple of other things I've tried. Lavander linen spray on my pillows is supposed to help with relaxation. I'm not sure it helped ... but it smells nice. :) The one simple thing that does help is to wear a sleep mask. I'm sure your mother's bedroom, like ours, is pretty light, to help prevent falls. The mask really makes it dark, yet it is very easy simply to slip it up on my forehead if I want to get up. Again, I don't know if your mother could cope with this kind of device, or if it would make a difference. I never thought the light bothered me, but I am surprised at how much difference it makes.
Dear IFM, Please lay off the drugs for at least three weeks.......the poor thing. Darken the room with lined draperies and put 'overnight' paper panties on her...... must be maximum diapers). She can urinate all she wants in them. Just change them in the morning, and put a fresh one on her ( same type). You don't say how old she is, but ALL OF US, at some time in our senior life will suffer from some form of insomnia or interrupted sleep. We become just like babies, according to my doctor. Daytime sleep is very important. Keep a daybed on the first floor or the living room area. Don't even apologize for that.
You say that dementia and glaucoma are her only health issues. Treat the dementia, but not the urinary problems, as long as there is no UTI, and keep up the eye drops for the glaucoma. ( important).

Can you adopt a little more of a laissez-faire attitude? It will help YOU, since you are the one asking for help. You may sleep better.
Loved N1K2R3's answers. Dementia can be so difficult to deal with and most likely is the cause. I would do what she said about the diapers and you go get some sleep. You poor thing! I went through a similar lack of sleep situation when I cared for my MIL until she passed and I tell you with only 2 hrs a sleep a night for 6 weeks (because I didn't actually know better) within an hour of her passing I fainted from exhaustion and it took me months to physically recover. If you do all that is suggested and she just wakes up and calls for you anyway... get someone to come in at night so you can sleep.
Oh this brings back the memories! My mother went 8 months on several hours asleep a night. I was a walking zombie! My mom was up and down ALL NIGHT LONG! She always thought she needed to go to the bathroom. But sometimes I thought it was an excuse to roam the house. My mother had no problem being awake 20 hours/day. But it pushed me to the brink of going insane.
Mom was taking some of the same meds that you mentioned with no help. There was no signs of UTI either.
Here is some things that I did: First in the beginning of all this mom starting "playing" in her room at night(moving things around, cleaning out her drawers, changing her clothes etc..) So I eliminated all dressers. Put everything in closet and locked the doors. Second, I put her bedside commode beside her bed. I covered her window with blankets so it was dark. I put a baby monitor in her room so I could hear her get up. I put a chain lock on outside of bedroom door with a longer chain that she could open it but not wide enough to get out. All this allowed me to "control" the situation somewhat. There was many of times she would get up and go to door, after realizing it didn't open she went back to bed. It might sound mean to lock her in her room. But safety was important. I didn't want her to get hurt or wander outside during the night. I had some close calls and frightening events that I had no choice but to secure her in her room at nite.
Is your mom taking Namenda? I had a dr suggest that I gave moms bedtime dose at supper due to some increased restlessness in patients. I did notice a slight change. Mom starting taking Remeron along with the gabapentin and it HELPED. How much Gabapentin did your mom take? Moms dose was at 2400mg/day. She took 600mg x4/day. I hope your mother is not like mine in regards to medicine. My mother has a hard time with meds working properly. She always seems to have the opposite effect. Which baffles doctors how this little petite woman has such a high tolerance level to meds. But my mom has high anxiety so she needs higher doses of meds that the doctors won't allow. So that is why Klonipin and Xanax never worked for her. I had to beg the Hospice dr to give her a higher dose of Ativan. The Hospice Nurse chimed in with her observations and the doctor allowed higher dose. Which worked wonders for mom.
From what I have been told this is a sleeplessness phase of the Dementia. It took mom 8 months to move through this phase. Hopefully, you and your mom will find some help sooner.
There is many of us that has been in your shoes. I can't give you a fixer to the problem, but I can offer you my support and sympathy. Just take each day as it comes. Don't let this overwhelm you, as I know it does. If you can get some help, great! If not, please be patient with your mom. The more she sees your emotion and frustration the harder it might make things. Try to see the positive and laugh as much as you can. Laughter really got me thru hard times. My mom is now last stage and sleeps alot now. I would give anything to see her walk again, or drive me crazy with the bathroom trips.
You will find the strength to get thru this. You are not alone.
I deal with the opposite, My love one will go to the bathroom in the daytime(rare accidents) but at night, it is a huge problem to get up and go, but he will get up and take off the wet depends and wet clothes sometimes, but not to the bathroom.

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