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The doctor suggested Benadryl. We've tried that but I really hate using a drug and would prefer a more natural solution. The aides who are working with us also are concerned as they say they have seen a personality change in Dad since starting to take the Benadryl. He's not his happy go lucky self. It's not like Dad to be that way.

Two of the aides have said that they have seen changes in other seniors who (in the past) who where also told to take Benadryl.

I've suggested we try a cup of warm milk before he goes to bed. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thank you.

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Thank you everyone! I had not heard that Benadryl was associated with Dementia. I told the Aide to stop giving it to him immediately when we discussed the symptoms he had. I also made an appointment with the doctor (and asked that he NOT meet with the PA who prescribed Benadryl). If he is having any form of depression, then we can deal with that when he meets with the Doctor directly.

Really appreciate all your support! Thank you, again.
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Oh, another thing, my Dad notices if he take Tylenol Extra Strength that it tends to keep him awake. I am experimenting with that because of an injury I have been using it 24 hours a day and I have a terrible sleep at night. Will have to get off it [if I can] for a few days and see if that makes a difference.
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Yes, limit the Benadryl... in fact, cut the tablet in half as a full tablet isn't needed as a full tablet is usually 25mg. Some antihistamines will have the opposite effect over time, thus keeping someone wide-eyed at night.

My sig other has 4 oz of red wine and that helps him. I use an antihistamine called Chlor-Trimeton 4mg and I cut that in half, and that helps me... Target sells it, very inexpensive.... but first check with your doctor.

By the way, does Dad nap during the day? If he does, that may or may not interfere. What does your Dad do just prior to going to bed? I know for the younger generation they are telling them to get off the computer or cellphone hours prior to going to bed, otherwise the brain is too active to fall asleep.

Does your Dad drink sodas or have tea/coffee in the evening? Try water with dinner and see if that helps. Any candy at night?
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I would stay away from the Benadryl, especially if there's a potential link to your father's change in behavior. There's a potential link to increased risk of dementia: http://center4research.org/healthy-living-prevention/improving-your-health/benadryl-and-other-common-medications-are-linked-to-dementia-in-men-and-women/. If this link is deleted, google "Benadryl, dementia."

Some teas can cause drowsiness, although I think it's also because they are warm, soothing and relaxing.

Melatonin is an OTC hormone supplement; I've read that our bodies produce less of it as we age so there's not as much available to induce sleep. I've taken it, slept well, and had no after or side effects.

Other relaxing techniques might help: your father's favorite music, pleasurable activities such as just talking with you and/or family, calming photos such as the scenic ones in Country and Country magazine, aromatherapy (cinnamon is my favorite for relaxation).

If he doesn't have a CD player (I think an iPod might be too complicated for an older person to use), try to find one and then get CDs of his favorite music for him to play at night before sleeping.

What time does he usually have supper? Does he eat foods with a lot of sugar? If the AL diet is too sugary, perhaps you can talk with the chef and get a more health diet.

Can he walk comfortably? If so, a short walk is calming; if not, perhaps you or one of the aides can take him in a wheelchair. Or just sit outside on a nice balmy evening.

How long has he been in AL? If just a short time, perhaps he's still in the process of adjustment and that's causing anxiety, which in turn is keeping him awake.

This may sound strange, but you could also try a furry toy, like a furry cat or dog. Stroking soft artificial fur isn't as good as petting a live animal, but it can be relaxing.

My personal feeling is that methods which naturally cause relaxation are much better than medication, especially Benadryl.
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