My father doesn't have dementia or Alzheimer's, but since he was released from the hospital, he has been a monster at night. What can be done about this?

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Doesn't have dementia or AD, but since he was released from hospital and then rehab hospital he's been a monster at night. He sleeps about the same in the day and night, so keeping him awake all day just makes both our lives miserable. He takes these little 20 min naps all day and night and awakes rested. Me, on the other hand, not so much. I'm up with him every 45 minutes to an hour all night and all day long. At night, he's whiny, anxious, says he needs to pee so I get him up. Lately he's said the devil is in his room (no door in his room to begin with- I wonder if he's talking about me). He gets irate when I don't run to him- even in the middle of the night- when all he wants is to go to the living room to his chair. He's taken to calling out "help me, somebody help me" it's only me around- not sure who "somebody" is, although I'd love to meet him, perhaps then I can sleep a night or two. My dad has turned into a drama queen. We are not very dramatic people. Ugh. We've made a rule now that I will check on him at midnight, then again at 2:00, then again at 5:00 and if he wants to get up at 5 I will put him in his recliner and give him coffee and a sweet. He lays there all night thinking up reasons to wake me between those hours. The rule is he is only to call if he needs to pee or poop. Not for water, not for another pillow, etc. Needless to say, my little rule isn't working. He has taken to flushing the toilet while he's still sitting so I can't see he didn't really need to pee. I'm beyond exhausted. I have help for a few hours a day (in the evening) when my son comes from school (he's in college). I usually run to the grocery store or make dinner during that time. It's not practical for me to sleep or nap during the day because he's so unpredictable. It's like he's scared. He lives in the "mother in law" quarters so he's technically alone at night, but he's so close that a baby monitor reaches from the farthest corner of his place to the farthest corner of my house, so he's not really alone. It's not an option to sleep at his place- the little sleep I get, I want to be comfortable,and I'm pretty sure my husband and I have gone way beyond being able to both fit on the couch, and I don't want to move him into my dining room- it's the only place he can't come (because of steps into my house) I need some "me" space too. They didn't pay much attention to him at the rehab center. In fact they would just ignore him most of the time, but it's never been that way at home. Nighttime has become such a stressful time for both of us. I'm so tired my body aches enough to take pain killers (I'm not a medicine taker). I'm up all day and night with him and still expected to cook, clean, drive... Asking someone for respite isnt an option right now. I'm just curious if someone else has had to deal with this nighttime situation. He's never been like this before- he's always "beeped" through the night, but now it's all night long and doesn't stop. He sees his doctor tomorrow and I'm curious if theres something I should ask specifically about. He's not on a bunch of meds, so theres no drug interactions and nothing new. Help!!

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I would first get him evaluated by his doctor and discuss some sort of sedative for him. My dad had sundowners and the doctor precribed him ambien which works perfect for him, he also wear nite -time briefs.
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Put him on seroquel! It will definitely solve the problem.I had the same situation with my lady I take care of, which lives with me. Best thing I ever did!!!!! Now I get sleep all night long. Hope this helps. Yellowbird
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I wonder if he could have developed a urinary tract infection in the hospital or rehab that's causing him to need to urinate at night. My father experienced this.
What I do is to keep a urinal (in a trash can) next to my father's bed. When he wakes he doesn't need to get out of bed and risk falling or wake me. We've used this method for over 10 years and it works great. Also, since he's not physically walking to the bathroom, he can get back to sleep a lot easier.

The elderly can become very confused when in the hospital or rehab and it takes a little while for them to readjust. My father becomes confused about his medications after a hospital stay. Like yours, he doesn't have any type dementia or alzheimers, he's just been off his regular schedule and needs help readjusting to being home.
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I'm glad your dad slept for 6 hours. Put effort toward keeping him up during the day as much as possible for a few days so that he can be tired by the time he goes to bed. You can increase the trazedone (consult with doc) once he gets used to this beginning dose to get more hours from dad or that it isn't quite working as well as you like. I hope you use the suggestions from my previous post.
Good luck....-Helen
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Thank you all! Dr gave him trazedone and he slept 6 hours! Rephrase, I slept 6 hours! Six glorious hours! It was enough to clear my head. Now begins the task of resetting his sleep pattern. A lot is riding on this new drug, once things level out a bit- if it does, I suppose we have some doctor visits to find some underlying cause. He so deserves much better than me being a nut job! I'm looking forward to some sleep too.
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Hi, hopefully the doctor was able to answer some of your questions. As a caregiver to various needy folks, I have also found that a radio/TV/ipod/MP3 music player to give sound to someone in their room so that they have something outside themselves and various anxieties to pay attention to makes a huge difference. Much like a small child, elders will push for their needs to be satisfied no matter the cost. They don't set boundaries well for themselves (but will be happy to push yours!). And respite care is always an option. Check into the Visiting Nurses association, adult day care in your area, programs for the department of aging and disability services. Your energy and health have to be watched after too., Helen
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE! INTERRUPTED SLEEP IS VERY COMMON. HE CANT HELP WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIM AND IS PROBABLY VERY SCARED, WHICH TURNS INTO ANGER TOWARDS YOU, THE PERSON WITH HIM THE MOST. KNOW THAT HE DOES APPRECIATE YOU AND NEEDS YOU VERY MUCH. TAKING CARE OF DECLINING PARENTS IS A VERY THANKLESS JOB. I GET BY KNOWING I AM KEEPING MY PROMISE TO KEEP MY MOM (85YR AND END STAGE ALZHEIMERS) AND MY STEP DAD (93YR KIDNEY FAILURE AND HEART) TOGETHER AND NOT IN A NURSING HOME. I HAVE 4 BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND ONLY ONE VISITS REGULARLY(ONCE A WEEK) SINCE I GOT NO HELP FROM THEM, I REACHED OUT TO SRS AND ACTIVE AREA ON AGING. THERE IS ASSISTANCE OUT THERE, IT JUST SEEMS TO BE A SECRET, BUT ONCE YOU GET THE RIGHT SOURCE, YOU CAN GET SOME HELP. I WOULD SUGGEST CONTACTING AGENCIES WHERE YOU ARE, TO SEE IF YOU COULD GET SOME HELP A FEW HOURS A DAY, SO YOU CAN HAVE SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY. I WAS DOING IT ALL ALONE AND WAS DROWNING. NOW I HAVE HELP ABOUT 18 HOURS A DAY. FIND THE RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE IN YOU AREA AND USE THEM. GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS
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Who says he doesn't have dementia or Alzheimer's?

2 things: Neither you nor I are qualified to say whether anybody has it or doesn't. It's the first thing the lawyers and the doctors will tell you!

Second, doctor's DO make mistakes in their diagnoses. (some might say they are notorious!)
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My husband was also suffering from Sundowners and his doctor prescribed Seroquel medicine for him, and now he sleeps all night long and is alert in the daytime. Couldn't hurt to ask your doctor about this med.
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Your dad probably was in a hospital, then a rehab. His entire sleep cycle is disrupted. It is very difficult to know night and day in a hospital, which could then have effected his sleep in the rehab, and having been ignored, this agitation about sleeping alone could be exacerbated. The first goal here would be to
regulate his sleep cycle. The possibility of sundowners syndrome could be in place, but I think once his sleep cycle is regulated, he will become much less agitated. I would definitely have a neurologist evaluate him for the beginnings of Alzheimers or dementia. Irrational anxiety, outbursts, could be the beginning and he will do much better if the doc evaluates him and you should know what are you dealing with here. There is a medication called Trazedone (which is an antidepressant) that used for my mom who lost her sleep cycle after hospital admission and of course, she has some dementia. Firstly, antidepressants are used for people who suffer from anxiety. Secondly, it has a sedating effect. So, we started with 50 mg. at night, then moved to 100 mg. This is not a sedative or narcotic. Actually it help the brain balance out the seratonin levels that decrease with age and gives them a boost. She sleeps the whole night through most of the time. She does wear diapers so toileting at night is not an issue. We also give her a small dose (trazedone)in morning to deal with agitation or anxiety. We limit her sleep to about one hour during the day, or two small cat naps. Walking or doing exercizes each day helps sleep as well. We leave all the lights on in her room or apartment as the sun starts to go down so that only when it is time for bed do we close her lights. His eyes needs to see sunlight during the day and lights should stay on. Let him sit in the sunshine in or out of house for an hour, or 30 minutes a day. Another helpful hint would be to look into giving him Melatonin which can be found at a health food store. Some people have low melatonin levels which is needed for sleep. Another helpful tool is a LIght Box that Apollo makes (go on internet). One hour a day in front of this box helps regulate the sleep cycles as well as dealing with lack of sunshine as the days shorten beginning in the fall. I would give him no liquids 3 hours before bedtime. This way his urge to pee will not wake him. Some men have prostate issues and so if he has to pee alot. Bring him to a urologist and there are pills that would control that like Proscar. Although your dad is not on medications, he may needs some now. I feel a thorough evaluation by his internist and definitely get him a neurological evaluation to see if he is in early stages of alzheimers and may benefit from something call "Aricept" which slows down his decline. His irrational behavior and anxiety is not his fault. Do not take it personally. Try some of my suggestions and take it from there. You need to know what you are dealing with. Things will get better once you get his sleep cycle back. If you can't do that through changes in routine, then he needs help with some type of medicine to help him sleep and stay asleep all night. See the docs. Good luck
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