My mom has vascular cognitive impairment from several strokes. The easiest way for me to describe it is veryyyyy early stages of dementia. She also has poor vision and mobility issues so her walking is out of balance and scary at best especially when she Refuses to use her cane.

From around 8am to 4pm, she goes to adult daycare which has been a godsend. While she is away, I use that time to cook, clean, grocery shop, follow up with doctor visits, and tend to my personal errands. My husband gets home around 5pm, so I spend that gap of time catching up with her about daycare while I am cleaning what she has brought in from daycare and helping her get a snack. Shortly after, it’s time for dinner.

My concern is that even with all the companionship at the daycare with great friends, constant entertainment, and fun at the center, plus the time I spend with her before daycare (getting dressed, watching the news together, breakfast, primping, talking almost nonstop about random things) by the time my husband comes home, she will not wind down. She has plenty in her room to keep her entertained but can chat for hours on end about nothing, often ending with what she needs to buy (ie I need to go get her a blue headband to match her blue socks she is wearing tomorrow).

After dinner/night time meds, I’m pooped and maybe have an hour left to spend with hubby before I doze off. Even still mom is texting or knocking on our door with a non-crisis to us that can wait until the morning (or even next year 🙈) but an emergency for her.

What is wrong with our routine and how can I get mom to “go to her room” and start to wind down without a fight after daycare? I am not complaining about physical things she needs help with rather the attention/companionship she seeks that can go on for hours.

Thank you for reading and any suggestions.

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Thank you for that suggestion. My husband is very patient but I know even he has his limits. Even though he may not voice it at times, the look on his face after work says ‘ok mom, you have had her all day, now it’s time for you to wind down to give my wife and I some time to catch up’
She has melatonin and I will add that to her night time routine, possibly even doing dinner/bedtime routine a bit earlier so she winds down sooner rather than later.

If not, this could be an issue as when we direct her to her room for the sake of privacy or just being tired, it’s often followed by screams and complaints of we are locking her in her room or sending her to her room like she is a kid, when in actuality she spends a fair amount of time outside of her room.
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You are one brave "newlywed" and kudos to your hubby for "putting up" with this behavior. She sounds as if she's a 5 yo and each day is new and exciting and OF COURSE mom (you) wants to hear all about it..again, and again---BUT..
Your marriage comes first.

Your could have her dr prescribe a very mild sedative to help her calm down and sleep. Melatonin may even be enough. I know my mom takes Trazadone and it works really well for her and has for years. Something that can be taken as part of the nighttime routine and she won't even know she's taking it.

You have her on a good routine and you seem to have a really good relationship with her--bless you for that! But your hubby and you need alone time. If comes at the cost of sedating mom so you can have that...I sure wouldn't judge that.

On the other hand, maybe she'd like a cat that is only allowed in her room. I'm just spitballing here. This is way too much like kids who just jump out of bed for the first 2 hours of "bedtime" and I'm having flashbacks.

One thing, if you don't deal with it now, it's going to get worse and worse. You DO NOT want your 70+ mother to start co-sleeping, which is practically the next step. (My point being that often dementia patients revert to childlike reasoning and behaviors.)

Good Luck!
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