Trinidad Asked April 2012

My mother has dementia and she's been refusing to go to bed because she's afraid. She is sitting/sleeping in her chair. What can I do?

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I tried everything. She also have osteoporosis and have fractured in the past just by sitting or caughing .

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Trinidad Apr 2012
Thank you Jeanne, I already tried all that . She's afraid that by going to bed she will not wake up.I keep her lights on curtain drawn close. I stay in her room to watch her at night. I will try to get her a recliner.
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jeannegibbs Apr 2012
Make sure she has a very comfortable recliner that fits her well.

At least that is what I'd do. Her fears are irrational but they are real to her. Giving her an alternative would be my first approach. And even if she only sleeps in the recliner for a few weeks, that is a very useful piece of furniture to own.

Then, can you determine what is fearful about her bed or bedroom? Even if the fear is totally irrational, you may be able to fix it. She's afraid of intruders coming in the BR window? Make a big deal out of installing swell new locks. She's sure there are critters crawling around? Maybe leaving a lamp on all night would reassure her. If she can articulate her fears (a big if) some creative problem solving may help her decide to leave the recliner and return to her bed.

Helping someone with dementia feel like she is taken seriously and to feel loved and safe is a huge part of successfully caregiving. And it is not as easy as it sounds like it would be!

Good luck!
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