Chatykat582 Asked September 2012

Is it typical for a dementia patient to walk and walk and not settle down?

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My mom was moved to memory care 2 months ago after suffering from her first UTI, at which point her ability to form any words at all is gone completely and she cannot carry on any kind of conversation. When I first arrive at her facility, she'll allow us to sit for several minutes, she'll try and tell me "things" in jibberish which I cannot understand. Then she insists on walking me around her facility, in circles for the rest of the time I'm there. I feel like I'm a little puppy dog, following after her owner. I realize every dementia patients shows different symptoms, but is this one of them. If so, how do I deal with it? It just seems crazy to me. Oh and btw, she refuses to leave the building at all. It'd be nice if I could get her out for a drive. But she won't hear of it.

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Chiiron May 2017
I have a man in my facility who has been doing this intermittently for a few weeks. In the last few days it is constant - yesterday 16 hours of pacing. He does still sit to eat. I have an appointment for him this week. I will talk to the doctor about the Depakote and Remeron. He is very thin, and all this walking is not good for him. Thanks for all the experiences you have related. I've taken a lot of dementia training and not once was compulsive walking mentioned!!
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I attended a dementia course with work on Tuesday and they said that repetitive motion is common and could be a sign of feeling like they need to do something or that they're not feeling secure in themselves. Could be an underlying emotional issue?
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Sunflo Mar 2017
My mom does this, mostly all night. She checks every door, every window, her purse, her papers and checkbook - literally all night long. Then she sleeps most of day. Don't worry as long as they are safe and it helps calm them.
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Joanna7 Mar 2017
I am pacing around my home all of the time. It's hard for me to NOT pace. I am 64. I thought that it is an extreme nervous habit. It has gotten worse as I have gotten older. I will not put any chemicals in my body if I can help it. So please don't suggest pills. Two months ago, I was given a "joint" from a friend to see if it would help. So I tried it that evening hoping I would calm down long enough to watch a movie. IT WORKED! Maybe it would work for dementia patients.
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Lawgirl Mar 2017
Stressed Mom, it means nursing home.
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Lawgirl Mar 2017
Stressed Mom - It means Nursing home.
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JessieBelle Oct 2016
Anthony, we had a member here who has moved on now. Her mother used to pace the house anytime she was awake. It continued until almost the end of her life. I don't know if there is anything doctors can do to help with the pacing. Some people with Alzheimer's do that. To me it would be very distressing, so my heart is with you and your wife. I would be torn whether to sedate my spouse or to let her pace. I wish there was something that would calm her without sedating too much.

As unsettling as it is for both of you, it would be good if you could find a way to take some time for yourself. Two hours isn't enough to refresh yourself. You need more respite time than that. Your wife is important, but you are equally important. I don't know what you like to do, but you should take that time for you. I have to have at least 4 hours twice a week to keep my mind healthy. I'm lucky that I can leave my mother for a while. I hope that you can find care for your wife so you can take some needed breaks.
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Anthony1 Oct 2016
I still have my wife with me at home,she is 58 and was diagnosed with dementia 5 years ago.She has all but lost the ability to speak and finds it very difficult to communicate with anyone.She walks around the house and garden if the weather permits all day stopping only when I can get her to eat then she is up and away again sometimes she eats on the go as well.I have been with her 24/7 since She was diagnosed and as her condition progresses it is beginning to wear me down.I have a care worker who comes to the house for 2 hours a week and she doesn't like me leaving her,the worker says she is fine when I'm away but when she leaves I can't get my wife settled till she goes to bed that night.I also can't settle when I'm away from her,Does it get any easier to leave her?
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Kikkie Oct 2016
I work with dementia resisents and although people say its sundowning , i think it is important not to label anyone. Everyone is different. She might be new to a facility and therefore restless. It is important to realise that at the end of the day we all tend to want to return home, just like birds going to our nests and she is doing that. Looking where she belongs or should go for the night. Sometimes we should ask our selfves if the five core needs all humans have are met. They are to love and being loved. Haveing the right to choose. Being able to care for others. To have your self esteem boosted. Have meaningful activities . If my residents are restless , i let them be, as long as there is not a high risk of falling, which may make the situation unsafe and may require more close supervision. Also maybe than just saying you want to take her out ask her to go to something that she always liked such as a hobby or activity, like shopping, a picnic or a ice cream. It could also be helpful if you can convince her that you are so very very busy and you never know how you are going to manage alone by baking this big cake and if she thinks she can maybe help you out of your pickle your in.... You get the drift
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hildygard May 2016
my daughter is an alcoholic. her behavior is irrational. she lies constantly and in thinking back - it appears this started many years ago. she is promiscuous and was arrested for pan handling in the mall. finally a judge saw that her behavior needed more than jail and she is now in a facility. in reading all the comments above it appears all situations occur with older people. has anyone experienced my situation?
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