Follow
Share

My wife has mid/late stage dementia. She drives me crazy moving stuff in the house, I am constantly spending hours looking for stuff. I can't lock everything up. I would be constantly locking and unlocking. Today she filled a pan with water and dumped it on the TV. I disconnect the oven/stove but I can't disconnect the water. I was thinking of those hospital mitts so she can't pick up stuff - any comments? Also how do I keep her in bed at night? If she wakes in the middle of the night she immediately gets out of bed and goes about doing things. If I could get her to stay in bed I think she would just go back to sleep.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
warren631: Simple answer=you cannot continue to care for your wife at home! Find alternative measures!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Warren,it sounds as if your wife is trying to be helpful and to regain some sense of the ability to organize that is rapidly slipping away. Is she able to stay on task? You might try engaging her in specific activities that would keep her occupied for awhile. Jigsaw puzzle (one with not a lot of pieces), folding laundry, watering plants (instead of the TV!), writing postcards or greeting cards to family & friends, etc. Praise her for her efforts, because unlike a toddler who is learning appropriate behavior, dementia works in reverse. She will never again understand why pouring water on an electrical device is dangerous.

I agree with others who recommend looking into a care facility, because the bitter truth is that day is coming when you will no longer be able to safely care for her, and in fact it may already have arrived. Certainly you should at least hire a caregiver to give you a few hours of relief several days a week or whatever you can afford. God bless. We're all rooting for you!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Millie that sounds like a wonderful idea, I have never heard of that. The biggest thing most caregivers complain of is lack of sleep.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We have a facility near us that is strictly and overnight facility for dementia folks who don't sleep. They will pick them up and bring them home so the caregiver can get a good nights sleep. The cost is less than most good hotels. You might investigate and see if there is anything like this near you. It can be a blessing.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wanting to keep someone at home is great.
They do better, are engaged more, are healthier and live longer.
I have always said " I will keep my husband at home as long as I can SAFELY care for him" by safely I meant his safety as well as mine.
It sounds like it is not safe for you to keep her at home unless you have someone that can watch her at night.
Unless medication can help it sounds like it is time that you look for a place that will be able to care for her 24/7.
Placing her in a Memory Care facility will allow you to become her Husband first, caregiver second. YOU will be more relaxed and she probably will as well. I have found that when I am stressed or others around my husband are stressed he picks up on that. I can only imagine your wife is picking up on the stress that you feel and that can make her act out more. (just as a child does when they get angry then throw a temper tantrum)
Not all situations are the same and not all plans work the way you want them to and as much as you want to keep her at home it might be time.
Another option would be to place her for Respite so you can get a break
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

cetude, yes, we walk around the park almost every day or the Mall if its too hot. I just have to watch she doesn't fall. A broken hip is the last thing we need. She wet the bed last night for first time. I know she felt very bad about it. When she can say a few words she says she is doing her best. I tell her its not her fault. I had a plastic sheet over the mattress so I just have to wash her and the sheets. I will try the cocoa. Thanks.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Even as a nurse, my husband displays most of your wife's habits, however short of tying her up so you can sleep (do not do this!), better start thinking of alternatives for where she can live. There are group homes (a private home which allows ten people), or a facility with memory care. Staff is awake at night to handle dementia persons who wander. Their biological clock is off due to the dementia, so do not blame your wife for her condition. Yes, it is very taxing to be a caregiver, so I suggest a support group where you can hear others stories, and yes, you could turn off the water at a house turn on-off handle. It is found at the front or back of you house. If you have gas those need to be disconnected. Take the knobs off an electrical stove and mainly use a microwave for cooking dinners. Also ask her doctor if he/she can prescribe a tiny muscle relaxant. Don't give antihistamines like Benadryl because her memory will be even more affected. Do the best you can Warren, and when it gets too much for you, let professionals take over. There is no shame in asking for help, and I am so very glad you found this website to vent your concerns and frustrations. I am with you 100% percent! This illness will not last forever and soon her symptoms will fade, she will not remember you, won't be able to speak or move and then death follows. So love her for the time she has left and try to see some humor in the things she does. My husband started using the wastebasket in the bathroom to deposit his toilet paper. It smelled. Then we recently moved to a much smaller apt., I put the wastebasket in the cabinet below the sink, and now he puts the paper in the toilet. Try creative thinking about where to put objects so she won't move them, and know her mind is trying its best to get "organized", and doesn't know why she get scolded for "helping" you. My husband was very organized, could fly and take apart a B-747, so one can only imagine how his brain is trying to organize things. All I can do is tell him to stop trying to "help" me, and give him little jobs I know he can handle. Keep your wife busy. She is doing the best she can with what brain power she has left. My prayers are with you!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

very good suggestions.
Address these behavior with her.doctor and the stressors.causing with you.
LadyMiller
Hope you have psychiatrist.
Since you state dr does not want her in nsghome. I assume you have asked about placement for her.
Does the doctor have a legitimate reason for insisting on you and your family to suffer abuse? You said she verbally abused your daughter. I hope she is an adult. Sorry, but this scenario is not example and inappropiate to raise a child in. Enviroment only to teach a child to be a subject of abuse.
Has the subject of treatment inpatient behavior modification. Bless you. But, personally disorder or not. Psychological abuse results in longstanding detramental self images.
Pray for you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

PS if my mom starts getting restless during the day I will walk her again. It rarely happens but sometimes it does and yes she will be walking in the park a second time. When done, the wandering and doing crazy repetitive things will stop. I would also like to say she very rarely falls now. She used to fall weekly. Sometimes twice a week. Walking really helps! But walking her once a day is sufficient. If the weather is bad, I will take her to the mall and we do our walking there. I have a pedometer so I know the distance she can tolerate and when to head back to the car.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

when I first exercised my mom she could only walk about a half block..gradually building up her resistance and about a year later she's up to close to a half mile a day with her walker. We go in the park every morning and do this. She really enjoys it too.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Have you tried exercising her? My mom was driving me crazy doing odd repetitive things including playing with locks over and over again until I started exercising her. She needs her walker and it took about a year but I can get her to walk about a half mile a day--everyday-seven days a week. Her behavior really improved. It also helps to give them a cup of cocoa DAILY. I use a good heaping tablespoon. I made a very strong green tea (2 teabags) in a little water, mix the cocoa in, then dilute with soy or almond milk. It's really quite good. For some strange reason that helps a lot with her behavior too-give it during the day since green tea has caffine in it. It helps keep her awake day so she will sleep at night. If she starts getting sleepy afternoon I will also give her about a half cup of Mountain Dew. NEVER after 3 pm. It helps keep her days and nights regulated. IF YOU USE TRANQUILIZERS or psychotropic drugs-- realize that will increase the risk of falling.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If the Dr does not want her in a NH invite him to spend the night at your house. The man's an idiot.
Zytrhr this is not about the Dr getting paid, he looses money caring for Medicare patients. he simply thinks it is best for old people to be cared for at home by their family. In theory this of course is true but we all know about theories!!!!!!!!!! This may have been fine in the days of huge families where there was a spinster aunt who still lived at home who was too simple to work and she kept an eye on grandma while everyone else worked.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Zytrhr, putting words in my mouth again? No, just an admonition to make sure we are giving out loved ones the best care and not merely what is expedient.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

CTTN55

Doctor could really care less. He/she is most concerned about getting paid. He probably figures she does not have much longer to live, so..
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

cwillie

In other words,get her to a NH ASAP?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Warren, I'm glad she is calmer now and easier to get along with, but I imagine tying her to her bed or putting mittens on her hands will bring out the hellcat you so recently got under control. If you are committed to caring for her at home then you need to be committed 100% of the time, get up when she starts roaming around at night and guide her back to bed or just keep your eyes on her to keep her safe. Just like a parent of a newborn does you will have to sleep when she does or hire someone to be with her when you need time off. I think your solutions sound much worse than anything you imagine you are saving her from in a nursing home.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hospitals also have kind of soft rubber trays that fit across the front of a wheelchair to prevent the occupant from getting out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My wife came out of the hospital after three weeks in the locked behavioral ward. She is much calmer and happier now. But she still likes to 'clear up' and 'put things away' - usually where I can't find them and she forgets she touched them. Met with the Elder Care Lawyer. He was very helpful and he suggested a plan to keep everything. Well worth the $250 - which is subtracted from any future fees. Seems like most of what I have read online about Medicaid is wrong.
I just wanted to know what others thought of those "hospital mitts" (Google that) and bed restraints to hold her in bed (kind of soft straps that go over the blankets). Is this cruel and unusual punishment? Hospitals use them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

LadyMiller - " Our doctors have put us on tranquilizers to deal with her. Her hips are crumbling. Her doctor does not want her in a nursing home and here we are......" So she is more important than everyone else? If her doctor does not want her in a nursing home, then he should be coming up with a solution other than her living with you and ruining your lives!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Warren: we are going through the exact same thing with my mother. My mother roams all night. We started using baby gates with a complex latch and installing them a few inches above the floor. So no crawling over or under. (Walmart) We have a hidden camera. She waits until around 1:30am and while we are asleep she gets into everything. Toilet bowl cleaner, cheerios, protein bars....The lock on our front door is very stiff. We found out that with her determination she can get the door open. She's 88 and full of arthritis. Her determination knows no bounds. She throws trash down the toilet. She recently kicked our answering machine, walked back and kicked it again. She played with the wires and turned it off and on. We will be removing that tonight. She called the police twice. Once when our daughter was out of the room. She told the dispatcher that the house was going to blow up. When our daughter tried to stop her, she called her stupid. We're all stupid by the way. No, its not the Alzheimer's, that's how she's always been. NPD. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Another time she called them just as my husband was going to work. We will be asking her doctor on the 26th for medicine to help her sleep at night. We are exhausted from her roaming, our lack of sleep and her constant head games, verbal abuse and the "I'll SHOW them game." Which always means extra work for me and a smirk from her. Our doctors have put us on tranquilizers to deal with her. Her hips are crumbling. Her doctor does not want her in a nursing home and here we are......
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Janet, please put your post as a brand new posting, you would get more answers. Otherwise readers will see only the title of this tread and not go in to see your question.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My neighbor is experiencing the same thing. The Memory Care nursing home is $67,000 a yr. He is scared that this will drain his finances and they will take his house. Can an Elder Law Attorney really help him?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Warren, so sorry you are going through this... I know we have been following your journey with her and hoping for the best.

Unfortunately there is no way that you can "control" a person who has mid/late stage dementia. How long has your wife been back home from the long term care facility? It hasn't been very long, has it. Maybe she will settle down once she is in a regular routine. Any change in residence can be so confusing to a person with dementia. Like my Dad is currently in the hospital and he is so confused as to where he is and why he is there. It can be heart breaking to witness.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Warren i thought you were considering memory care for Virginia? I know it is an almost impossible decision to do this for a beloved spouse but you must protect your own health. What would happen to Virginia if you have a stroke from all this stress and lack of sleep. you must be constantly on edge wondering what she will do next. you could find her a nice facility while you still have a choice and if all works out bring her home for the occasional days or weekends as long as that is not too upsetting for her. You can obviously disconnect electrical appliances but could you have easy shut off valves under the sinks so you could actually turn off the water when you are not using it. I do hope you can find a good plan for both of you and peace with your decision. You sound more desperate each time you post
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Warren, did the medication changes they made during tthe psychiatric hospitalization not help with this? I think first off, I'd be in touch with her doctors to talk about her agitation and what can be done about it.

I also think the idea of getting an OT to come in and survey what needs to be kept out of sight/reach is a good one.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Oh, Warren, you *are* going through the mill, I'm sorry.

Perhaps you'd better start switching appliances off at the wall socket, just in case? That TV could have been explosive viewing!

Have you had an occupational therapist round to the house to go over the layout? I'm just wondering if an OT might have some useful ideas about how to make it less tempting for your wife to move stuff - though since there's no knowing what your wife is trying to achieve it might be tricky to work out how.

There are also things you can get to keep active toddlers safe - cupboard catches, covers for wall sockets, that kind of thing. And don't forget stair gates: I wonder if putting a stair gate in your bedroom doorway might make her turn back to bed? Shouldn't be a trip hazard, because they're too high to trip over; and if she finds it hard to open (which she should do) then maybe she'll give up easily? Or at least give you a chance to catch her before she starts her wanderings.

I'm sorry it's such hard going. Are you getting enough help at home?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Warren, it sounds like your wife's care has become more than you are able to do, you know it will continue to get worse. You will not be able to control her, if you try she will become agitated. She sounds like she is a danger to herself and others. If it were me, I woyld begin the search for appropriate care. See an elder law attorney to help with Medicaid Planning so the cost of her care does not impoverish you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.