My mother pretends to be asleep and then jumps as if startled when we walk by. This happens 40 or 50 times per day. Is this normal?

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My mom (with Dementia/Alzheimers, 87 years old, pretends she is sleeping, and then when we walk by she jumps as if she got startled. It is so obvious that she is pretending. This happens 40 to 50 times a day EVERYDAY!!! It drives my husband nuts. He always turns the TV off when he sees her pretending to be asleep and then she opens her eyes and is really mad that he turned the TV off. I just ignore the behavior, but it does aggravate me. Does anyone else do this, or is she unique with this little habit.

Answers 1 to 10 of 31
My mom does the same thing. 85 years old. Dr. diagnosed her with mild Alzheimers and I think she has some Dementia. Hard to tell if she really forgets, is faking or wants attention. Having had her formally tested, but I 'll leave that for another discussion. She will be in her room and we go in and she will look straight at us. When we call out to her she acts startled. But like I said, with everything she does its hard to tell if its real, or just wants attention. But you said it's so obvious she's faking. I see where it would be frustrating. Hang in there.
Oooops meant haven't had her formally tested yet.
Where is she sleeping or pretending to sleep that you walk by her 40 or 50 times a day? On a couch? In a recliner? Could you provide her some place to watch tv where you don't have to walk by her so often? A tv in her room, perhaps? I don't really understand why this is so annoying to you or to your husband. So she sleeps or pretends to sleep in front of the tv. So? Why turn it off if you know this is going to annoy her? A wireless headset is a great solution if it is the sound of the tv you object to. It almost sounds as if you are trying to catch her at "pretending," Why? If she acts startled when she walks by, why not just say, cheerfully, "Sorry, Mom," and keep on about your business? If this is her only bothersome quirk (so far) and she has dementia, you should be grateful, not annoyed. If she has dementia, it is unlikely that this is a deliberate ploy to aggrevate you. Getting more information on what you can expect from a loved one with dementia may put things in perspective and give you all some peace.
Wow...jeannegibbs...sounds like poster just needed to vent. My mom has annoying habits also, and if I can just vent them to someone, I feel better and can move forward.
Sounds like a game to me, one she can play all alone. She could possibly be listening to the tv while resting.

If it is that bothersome to hubby, maybe he could move the furniture around so he doesn't have to walk by her 40-50 times a day.

Ignore her actions or just say "oops".

Things could be much worse, be happy.
ppi784...Sorry for some of the answers you are getting. Some of us have bad days alot and we tend to vent without thinking what bothers us as caregivers. It is like anything else. Like getting use to someone you married, you will eventually get use to the annoying habits and or the terrible decline in your mom's behavoir. I am a full time caregiver and I tend to get annoyed with alot of things that my MIL does, but to yell, or get mad, or intentionally stop the habit is only going to get you more frustrated. You and your husband need to have Peace to keep your yes the best solution is to try and set her up where she can have a spot to sleep, rest , or watch T.V. without it being annoying..It is hard and I feel for you. And do look further into the unusual things that take place with dementia...It won't get the more you know the better you may be able to help her and yourself. Hang in there...God Bless you for watching her...It takes alot out of any caregiver to watch any decline in a parent especially the ugly disease such as she has...SMILES and HUGS...I hope this helps....Just be informed. YOU are earning your wings...We all are...XXXXX
I don't have this problem with Mom, I just found it interesting about the TV. We keep it low because I am always talking with her, or, she is asleep. My husband got cordless headphones for the TV, Fabulous Purchase! He can even put the news on the tv in the bedroom and walk around the kitchen listening to it while we have another tv on, llol
My mother always use to do this when we were growing up.....say she was watching tv when we turned the channel, so I'm not sure if dementia is always the reason :) :) :) - my husband claims I do it now (well of course I am NOT like my mother)!
As I read through the responses, so many offered practical advise to avoid the situation and with Alzheimer's/Dementia that is THE most practical advise!

Although it may seem like they are deliberately doing something, it more cases than NOT this is not the case. Even if it were the case, offering a quiet out of the way place for her to watch TV... or even just "to be" may be the solution. Its a fine line between interaction and ignoring them that all caregivers must navigate!

If I 'hovered' around my mother she would tell me to "GO AWAY!" If I left her to her room, she would cry and feel "neglected"! Since I wanted her to feel part of the action, and yet able to feel independent, it was a tight-rope act much of the time.

We ALL need to vent, and if that is the case, post a 'note' that says "I am just venting". That's easy to do! I always try to offer advise that will help the situation, but with Alzheimer's or any dementa "ALL BETS ARE OFF" since the mood can change from one minute to the next.

I would look into checking medications AND the possiblity of a UTI or other imbalance if this is NEW sudden behavior! Hydration is also another issue, so is diet! AND... don't forget to try to include them in activities that actual keep them "up and around"!

Clearly this could be just someone looking for attention (it happens a lot) or it could be the sign of something else. WE have to be proactive when we notice something changing. They can't change their behavior, WE can! God Bless, and hopefully I won't be chastised for speaking frankly!

Yes, just say venting. We all do this and it surely helps. I couldn't agree with you more on your 4th paragraph. We have experienced 4 mood changes already today and it isn't even noon.

Also, I am not one to "sugar coat" anything. Facts are facts and I commend you for speaking frankly. I know it helps me.

Also, just wanted to say one more thing about speaking frankly. One of my dogs (know this isn't human stuff) has just been diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Of course, we have to try and regulate her insulin, food, water etc. Just an example, I guess of speaking frankly so that I can do the right thing. My husband has the dementia and he imagines all kinds of stuff going and is always wanting me to call the vet. I do have a lot to learn and all seems to be working so far even if he doesn't understand. I have been given lots of info and spent an hour in consultation with the vet which was so helpful. We are only into our first week of this so things could change rapidly. I have already taken a BIG does of patience with my husband to help him understand best he can what is going on.

I am really having trouble being a caregiver and I am not the most patient person on earth. I am learning though. God Bless you too. As always everyone is in my prayers each day.

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