blackbelt513 Asked April 2011

How do I get my mom to sleep alone in her bed after returning home from a rehabilitation facility?

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My mom suffered a stroke in July, 2010. After spending three months in a nursing rehabilitation hospital, she was discharged into my home care. She insists someone sleeps next to her every night at bedtime. My younger sister has taken upon this task six nights a week and I do the seventh night.


We have tried everything to get her used to sleeping back in her own bed but nothing works. The home attendant only lets her nap for an hour during the day. she also demands that the television and all bedroom lights be kept on throughout the night. The doctor recommended a light sleeping pill but my mom wants no part of it due to her other medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Both of us are working professionals that require early morning working travel.


We love our mom dearly but we're "pooped"


Please help.


Sleepless in Queens, New York













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Hi,
I don't think sleeping with Mom is the real problem here. It's the lights and TV on all night is probably keeping you all from SLEEPING! Perhaps Mom would feel okay on her own at night if you used an intercom so that if she REALLY needs you at nigh she could easily talk with you. Then if she wants her light on it will only disturb her. They also make earphones for the TV now so that only the person wearing them will hear the TV. That combined with the earlier suggestion of a stuffed animal friend, may buy you all some quit nights in your own beds. Keeping a good thought that this works out for you! ♥
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seemeride Apr 2011
I have used the stuffed dog, preferrably with long hair. Mom's dog refused to sleep in the hospital bed with her with the air mattress moving. Now I leave the bedside light or nightlight on, so if she wakes up she is not confused about where she is. Sometimes I will leave the tv on. A little noise and she doesn't feel alone. I hope you find a solution.
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NancyH Apr 2011
I'd get a big body pillow. Then she can have something to throw her arm over at night.
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Balapins Apr 2011
I had a similar situation when my Mom was released after 2 months in a rehab hospital. She was convinced that she was going to fall out of her bed (never happened in the past). She had railings on the sides of her bed in rehab. I put chairs against one side of her bed and the bench from her shower propped on the other side and that eased that fear. After a week she didn't need them. Also, I had hired someone from an agency to stay overnight with her for a week. Things got better after that. I know this doesn't address your situation specifically, but I just wanted you to know that this isn't particularly unusual and that you have fellow caregivers out there who understand. Peace.
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Vernon Apr 2011
I'll only speak specifically about medicinal sleeping aids.

Once you've checked with her doctor and are able to receive assurance xxx sleeping aid won't interfere with your Mother's health--- crush up whatever aid her doctor suggests and mix it with a tiny amount of fluid, apple sauce, ice cream, etc. at an appropriate period before bed time. Do not tell your mother. Just give it to her. You ARE NOT being deceitful. Looking out for your own health at a younger age, your Mother likely did the same thing for you. You ARE in fact not only helping her health physically, mentally and emotionally, but you are taking a huge degree of stress off every other member of your family, as well.

Keep looking up...

V
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sak9 Apr 2011
I have 30 years working in nursing homes. Your mother is afraid of dying/death. The family/minister/counselor needs to talk to her regarding her fears.
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DonnaG Apr 2011
Ooops, didn't mean to call you evelyn, blackbelt. I'm mixing up who I'm responding to. I do that on here quite often. Sorry.
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Kitty Apr 2011
I do not see any harm with sleeping in the same room or even same bed with your mother, if that is of comfort to her. In her day, it was more common for the family to share a bed , especially siblings. How do you think mothers made/make it through the night breastfeeding. Many in our culture today just do not understand this and even look at it as wrong, when most people in the world sleep like this. I slept in the same room with my mother from time to time when she was terminal. (I co-slept with my mother as an infant and small child and co-slept with my daughter. There is nothing weird or wrong with it - it is very natural. It is also natural for a younger member of the family to sleep with an elderly person in many cultures and years ago even our own.) It was very comforting to her and I cherished the late night talks and books I read to her.
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bobO Apr 2011
Blackbelt, Sleepless,
You may not want to hear this answer. Your daughter may NOT sleep with your mother. You may not either. This is a transition she is making and you don't help with coddling. Her demands are totally outrageous. Sorry, told you you wouldn't like this response. You have taken her into your home and she needs to get a grasp on what is real in this new reality. You all seem to have guilt or you wouldn't sleep with her on a schedule. Sooner or later she is going to have to come to grips with sleeping alone. Get ready, it will be other things once she adjusts.
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DonnaG Apr 2011
Is your mom suffering from some type of dementia or can you talk with her about this? Can she express to you what she is afraid of, or if fear is the issue at all? What will she do if you just don't come to bed in the room with her? Refuse to go to bed? Lie awake in her bed? I'm not sure what your "trying everything" may have entailed. When my mom (who does suffer from Alz. or some form of dementia) won't go to bed, we don't argue. One of us (my dad or I) just sits up with her (we're concerned about her falling; otherwise, we wouldn't even stay up). She usually is ready to go to bed in an hour or so. We used to try to go the cajoling route, but then the ordeal lasted 3 or more hours. I do empathize, evelyn. Best of luck to you.
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