Dads 94, lives in home, sibs and I take turns spending nights. He goes to bed, up a couple hours later, we send to bed, he's up again, gets dressed (if we don't catch him first), wants to sleep in recliner. He doesn't remember any of it. Thinks he slept in bed. Should we just let him roam? Sleep in chair, even though he should be on Cpap? We have secured house so he can't get to basement for example. We know he's slipping mentally, however, keeping him home is goal; especially during pandemic mess. Is it worth it to hassle him?

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No, it’s dangerous to let him roam and his home is no longer a safe place for him. Why is it the goal to keep him home when he’s reached a level of care you and siblings can no longer give?
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Reply to LoopyLoo

I think you’d be surprised what this wandering can turn into. My sweet aunt, while being ravaged by Alzheimer’s, was kept in her “well secured” home. One night, despite extensive locks and precautions, she left and wandered the community, depositing all of her jewelry from her jewelry chest in ditches and yards along the way. It was terrifying, and only by the grace of God and kind law enforcement that she made it back home. Don’t believe that the wandering can’t take a terrible turn. I well know the desire to keep someone home, but there’s also a point that it’s not sustainable by family and unsafe for all. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this
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Reply to Daughterof1930

There’s no real problem in sleeping in a recliner – that’s the least of the worries. I sleep flat on the floor when my back is crook, it’s quite safe and more comfortable for me. Is he OK without the Cpap? Could you set him up in the chair with the Cpap instead of sending him to bed? If the house is fairly safe (no stairs etc) and the exit doors are secured, perhaps it isn’t worth the hassle, as you asked. At age 94, if he passes painlessly without the Cpap, many of us would think that it’s not a bad way to go.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
Daughterof1930 Jan 15, 2021
My sweet dad tried every possible mask for his CPAP, found the whole thing to be terribly disruptive to his sleep. He boxed it up, took it back, and told the doctor that it was messing up his plan to die in his sleep!
I worked in Sleep Medicine for a number of years. At 94, and with Dementia, Cpap is not a battle worth fighting. I wouldn't worry about him sleeping in a recliner either. Plenty of elderly people do that.
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Reply to ZippyZee

I understand the desire to keep a loved one in their own home. However, once they reach a certain point physically or mentally, you’re not doing them or yourself any kindness by trying to keep them at home.

There are many wonderful facilities available with trained professionals to care for your loved one. They also benefit from socialization with others their age and a schedule, as well as 24/7 care, meals, laundry, etc. You can visit them as family, not their caregiver and enjoy time with them in small doses - better for everyone.

If your loved one has lived 90+ years and may have lost their spouse, they’ve lived a good life and may even express their desire to join loved ones in Heaven.

I believe in making sure my Dad (Mom passed away in 2019 after 75 years of marriage) who is 98, is happy and cared for - he lives in a senior community in Independent Living ( he moved back to IL after my Mom passed, as they lived in AL for her care.)

It’s like raising kids again...pick your battles and realize what’s best for them and YOU. Dad wants chicken tenders for every dinner, insists on an alarm set for 4:30am, dozes throughout the day and is extremely regimented but if he’s happy, I’m happy and I can’t advise him on things just because I wouldn’t want it that way! It’s his way of having some control of his life!

Hugs and prayers to all of you other caregivers/loved ones! It’s incredibly hard to watch your parents slip away, but it’s inevitable and you need to enjoy every minute with them without the stress to them and you of being responsible for their care.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to lamm811

just reading about the houdinis was frightening.
I got an alarm mat from amazon.
I had to place it beneath his sheet since he used any padding etc for a blanket. However... when he got out of bed or even off the mat ( it did slip a bit) I got an alarm.
an added nest camera allowed me to see what he was doing ( he left frequent “gifts” in unlikely places).
He was also unsteady and would not use a walker:
There are also mats for the floor beside the bed and other items most likely, but that worked for us.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Jo123456
texasrdr22 Jan 17, 2021
I got the floor mat version of the alarm. I put it next to Mom's bed and every time she gets out of bed, an alarm rings in my bedroom across the hall. It has been a tremendous help for me.

I would worry about your dad messing with the stove or getting into things he should not, like cleaning supplies or medications. You probably have all that secured.
My Husband "escaped" a few times and I had keyed locks on the INSIDE of the house, I wore keys around my neck for about 5 years and he still managed to get out.
Don't take any chances.
If you can put a child proof door knob cover on the door knob that MIGHT keep him from getting out.
A friend told me of someone she knew that attached more door knobs to the door so that it would confuse her husband as to what one would open the door.
I have heard that a dark rug in front of the door may stop some from getting near the door but personally I had no area rugs in the house as they are a trip hazard as well ad difficult to get a walker, wheelchair or other equipment over.
Door alarms are also an option. Many stores have an infrared eye that will ring a bell or buzzer if someone walks through the door. Something like that might be good for his bedroom door so that you know when he leaves his room. (I am sure you sleep at night so this would alert you if you did doze off.)
I would also get a tracking device that he can not remove so that if he does get out he can be located easily.
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Reply to Grandma1954

I, too fretted about placing mom during pandemic but when it was obvious that she was no longer safe in her independent apartment (the house had been sold two years prior), we moved her to residential assisted living. Best decision we ever made. She’s on a fixed schedule for meds, meals, bathing, eating, and socializing which has made her a much better sleeper. Since she has always been a Florence nightingale sort she helps the “old people” who aren’t as mobile as she is. Mind you, she’s legally blind. Yesterday she said she “loves it...I have people who I can remember with”. She’s 95.
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Reply to Maggiemay1971

It is not worth it to hassle him about it. I have a gate at the top of the stairs for my mother with Alzheimers. She goes back and forth from her bedroom to the bathroom all night long; changes out of her pajamas into day clothes; packs and unpacks all her things... I just let her get back into bed fully dressed. Why hassle her or me? Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Burnoutgirl

It sounds to me like it’s not a question of wandering outside, it’s the wandering inside that you’re concerned about? If that’s the case, some type of alarm either in the bed or on the floor next to the bed would be good, to alert you that he’s up. Although your father may not need 24 hour supervision at this time, he should be supervised while he is wandering at night.
The cpap is really important (makes sure he’s getting oxygen throughout the night, lack of oxygen can lead to further confusion), as long as he is tolerating it. if this is a new piece of equipment you could talk to his doctor about potential alternatives.
Sometimes we get caught up in doing things the way we believe they “should” or used to be done. I would suggest looking at the individual issues (sleeping in his recliner, etc) and thinking about if these behaviors really matter in the big picture. As long as he’s safe and healthy, trying to control too much may drive you and him nuts. 💕
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Protam
mandyricepuding Jan 17, 2021
We went through something similar with a parent and we had a series of floor pads which set off a light alarm. We had one beside the bed and so we knew they were out of bed, one outside the bedroom door and one outside the kitchen door that worked for us and meant we were not constantly bobbin up and down. What two way alarms as for babies which could also alert you to moving around noises? My very best wishes to you for your selfless act of love x
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