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My mother is 96. She has lived with us for 7 years. She goes to Adult Day care everyday.I have to wake her a 7 AM. Is this too much? She has dementia and is often confused when I wake her. I just don't want to appear to be cruel or harsh getting her up and dressed so early. She does well at the day care. She has sundowners most afternoons; could this be because she is tired from the day? Sure don't want to make things any worse ; she can be very difficult. Please voice opinions; I really enjoy having the day free.
Thanks,
Carol

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Each situation is different. My mother has always been a morning person and in general getting her up at 7:00 am works for her, but when she doesn't want to get up we let her stay in bed until we see that she is ready. But things change. Now she only goes to daycare 4 days a week with Thursdays and weekends off. We do have to stay to something of a schedule because of the HHA help that has set hours.
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Wolly, have you been to your primary care doctor and voiced your concerns? Do you have anyone else like siblings or children who are concerned about your welfare?
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I'm 71 female and have had a slight stroke 18months ago. In the morning upon
arising I can't get it together, I stroll around the house and can't decide what to do first. and losing things like cell phone and coffee cup etc. I think I'm getting
alzeimers or dementia Also my driving is affected in the morning WOLLY1
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My 93-year old mom is afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer's. She sleeps 12 or more hours every night and rarely awakens before 9 a.m. We let her sleep as late as she likes. When she does eventually arise, she needs time to gather herself. To avoid agitation and confusion we allow plenty of time for her to shower, dress and eat breakfast. As a result, I do not schedule any medical appointments or formal activities such as day care until after lunch. This scheduling has been working well for us. I just can't hustle her out the house in the morning to meet someone else's schedule.But every case is different. Each caregiver has to determine what works best for their patient.
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My 96 year old mom is in middle stages of AD . She is high functioning in daily living skills , has the energy, mobility and appearance of a 60 year old. Our real concern right now is that when she gets up from sleep either in the Am or after a nap, she is extremely confused. She cries bitterly that she doesn;t know where she is ( her home in Canada or in Florida) and says that she " cannot live like this". After 30- 60 minutes she is back to herself with no memory of this anxiety. It is so distressful to us, her children, to see her so upset. Has anyone had this experience? She takes 75 mg. of effixor in the morning and 15 mg of exelon patch. Thank you! Sharon
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One of the great things about retirement, and old age is the fact that you can go to bed when you want and rise when you want. Soon, an elderly person finds themselves on a "schedule"....they get sleepy at the same time everynight, and they wake up about the same time every morning. That said, why in the world would you want to force your mother out of bed at 7:00 a.m. (ungodly), and take her to adult day care? Somebody is being selfish, and it ain't her.
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Thanks for all the comments. I should have said that I take my fourteen year old daughter to school in the mornings. We go past the day care so I take my Mother there on the way home. They serve breakfast until 8:45. My mother likes eating breakfast there and the food is quite good. With the price of gas, this is more convenient and I am able to get Mother there in plenty of time. We do this 5 days a week. I think it is remarkable that my Mother can keep up ; I don't want to wear her out. Yes, she can sleep at the day care. They have several recliner type chairs. Again thanks for your interest and this forum.
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Braida, I am like you - if I reach the age of 96 I hope I don't HAVE to get up at 7 AM. I am wondering if the elderly at the daycare get a chance to sleep during the day and, if so, do they get to lie down or do they sleep sitting up in a chair? My mom longed to go back to bed after being made to sit up for awhile. My husband, at age 71, needs his afternoon nap (preferably in his bed) every day so this is why I am wondering how much sleep during the day is allowed at the daycare.
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I think I might try an alarm clock instead of waking her. Sometimes people are so used to hearing that stupid alarm, that it's second nature to know you have to get up. It's worth a try I think.
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Hi Darrobertson. I see everyone has said they think it's good what you're doing, but I think your Mom, at 96 years old, if at all possible, deserves to sleep in a little bit. (And I did say if at all possible.) Why does she have to get up at 7AM? Is there some time limit on when she can go to the care center? Would it be possible to get her there at 9AM and still have most of the day free for yourself, and allow your Mom to get another hour of sleep or slower awakening? I just am putting myself in your Mom's shoes, and if I was 96 years old, I sure wouldn't like being hustled around too fast in the mornings. I hate it myself, and I'm only 62. :) Just a thought.
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My Alz husband is always confused (his word) in the first hours after he wakes up. He is more comfortable emotionally and gets some memory back in the afternoons. He has always been an "afternoon" person who does not function as well in the AM so I have given up trying to get him up before he rises by himself at 9 or 10 or 11. I liked the article about the Alz facility that decided to let the residents sleep, eat, play on their own individual schedules. Makes sense to me.
Question: why does she go to day-care? Because you have a day job? Because it is good for her? Could she arrive later?
God Bless - it's never easy but is a blessed work for us! Piver
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As long as your mom benefits from day care, I would stay with it. The program provides structure to her day and a much needed social and recreational outlet not to mention the respite you get. You do need to monitor her response. It is a thin line beyond a meaningful activity and overstimulation.

Like your mom, mine is most confused in the morning when she awakens. As the day progresses and she get oriented, her confusionn lifts and she is more with it.
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This is all normal with dementia. Any type of routine is comforting and easier on a person with dementia. There are times I actually could relate in a way to the felling of where am I. You all have been there but or brains without dementia process the info faster and clearer. For example I was with Mom at th Dr.s office one day. We were naturally in one of the many rooms in the office, After the visit I needed to talk to Dr, alone, so Mom stayed in the room and I followed Dr, only about a yard away from the room we closed the door so Mom couldn't see us chatting. We had a 5 min chat then I turned around to go back to the room were Mom was waiting, I saw many closed doors and didn't have a clue as to which was the one I walked out of. I said to the Dr "now I know how she feels". Or when you have a change in your weekly schedule due to a holiday, say a Monday off and all day tuesday you think its monday. One day I woke and jump into shower thinking It was a Monday and during the shower I remembered it was Sunday. Boy was I pissed but relieved I was off. When I had my Mom at home she got so used to the routine of me getting her up,dressed, taking pills, eating breakfast that if on my day off if I didn't do the same routine she would tell me what she was supposed to do next. She was always clearer when no change or she kept busy. Sundowning is common as well at NH you can see it with most of the residents the behaviors are very different. This will happen no matter what the day is like. Day care is a great thing for both of you. Enjoy the happy times with Mom.
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Correction that was getting to bed by 7 AM (sorry)
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I went thru that also . I feel like at their age why the heck should she be rushed out or taken confused; I know I wouldn't want to be. The gettng to bed by 7pm and up earlier worked for a while, then I hired someone to come here so Mom isnt rushed. They bathe her and drive her to daycare any time between 8 and 11am. (Also gives me a huge break)
Now, she wont go, it all comes in stages. Good luck.
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How do I get myself and my mother up that early? I think my mom would benefit from Adult Day care but I don't know if I could get her up in time to make the bus. I have not been sleeping well, myself and I have trouble getting up in the morning myself.
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Early morning confusion with dementia is often the norm. As long as she is participating in the activities then keeping her going is worth the AM chaos- it's a win win for both of you! Sundowning occurs regardless of day time activities. Turn on all the lights when she gets home and keep it bright- over time that should reduce the sundowning. Also after the day center try to keep her active before dinner- hope this helps.
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I'd say, keep up the adult day care for you and for her. The activity and stimulus level I believe outweighs the early morning confusion as long as it's not super stressful-combativeness.

The sundowning is most likely a separate issue as it's generally agreed in the medical community to be caused by changes in light/sensory input, where our younger eyes adapt quickly from natural light to artifical light, and from ambient background noise to closer-confined household noise (tvs, talking, cooking/cleaning etc) some elders cannot make the shift and it creates confusion and a sense of disconnection to their environment. However, in her case if she's sundowning in the afternoon it could still be a similar situation of change in environment (light, sounds, stimulus) that is hard for her to adapt to.

Hang in there, you sound like a dear to be concerned that it might be too much for her in the mornings but make sure you are asking yourself if it would be too much for you to not have that time.
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I agree, you need some time to yourself. She will be fine. My realitive gets up at like 4 or earlier in the mornings. I wish she could sleep till 7. I think sundowners will effect them no matter what they do during the day.
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It's hard from a distance to assess whether the benefits of your mom going to daycare outweigh the time it takes to get her up and dressed. But it does sound like she is getting a lot from getting out of the house and being around others. And you get a much needed break - especially since you have been doing this for 7 years.
Sundowners might be a separate issue. For mom it starts when the sun goes down and continues into the evening. The lack of light seems to trigger it.
If your mom is sleeping well, I wouldn't worry about her overdoing it during the day. I think it is nice of you to see that she gets this outlet everyday.
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