Is there rules about that few day break and when you can do it? Do you pay for it? Is it ok to do it while they are recovering from a UTI just so you can get sleep? I haven't slept at all in 3 days. I'm so tired. She hasn't slept at night either. Her meds keep her up and keep her screaming all night long. I don't know if they aren't working or just the side effects are too harsh. Her doctor wasn't in the last two days to help and after 5 and 1/2 hours in an ER to get the meds in the first place, I didn't want to go back because all that makes me do is sit in a room with a moaning person unable to even walk away only to be told she has a UTI and the drugs she is being given will make her crazy but better so it's important. I'm just so tired. All I need is 4 hours a sleep at night and I can't even get 5.

So has anyone used the break thing using medicare for this kind of thing before? Does it help?

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I hope you have all the papers in place, POA, MPOA, etc. Even so, when they take her to the ER, do NOT take her home. Say it is too dangerous for her, or say you have to work and no one can take care of her, and they will have to find a place for her. Don't let them scare you by threatening something, like 'she will be charged $3000 a day if we keep her here without a serious medical condition.' Tell them, go ahead, send a bill, and good luck with that. It is WORTH EVERY PENNY.
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I should have said grandmother, not mom. Sorry about that.
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LittleMissKitty - This can go on for years. I know you've asked for help on some other boards here on agingcare, and everyone is giving you the same answer. It's time for mom to go into care. She will be more OK with it than you may be, but you both will adjust.

Here is what you do.

Next time she starts screaming in the night, call 911.
Tell them your elderly mother has had a medication change, is screaming, won't stop, and you need help.

Have the EMTs take her to the ER.
They will do an evaluation on her there and can check her for infection, side effects, anything else you might not be able to detect. They may admit her if a bed is open.


Work with the social worker on the "transition team" (or whatever they call it) to get her into rehab somewhere so she can get medical attention 24 hours a day until she is well. Medicare will pay for a certain number of days in rehab after a hospital stay. The transition team should be able to explain this.

You may be counseled to move her into full time care at that point, and you need to do it. If you are not sleeping enough, you will become psychotic and have a nervous breakdown. Not maybe, but definitely.

You are most certainly past the point of doing this at home by yourself. Your mother may need medications to stop her screaming.
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I changed her UTI medicine. I guess a side effect of Cipro can be nightmares, night terrors, insomnia, hallucinations, joint point and who knows what else is going on in her poor body right now that's giving her trouble. She just keeps telling me her whole body hurts, she is totally out of it, barely even able to keep her eyes open and kept walking around the house when she walked with her eyes closed. Who can walk safely with their eyes closed?? I was having to feed her and she couldn't even keep her eyes open for that but yet she can't sleep. I don't get it.

Cipro while a very popular drug, doesn't agree with her. I guess they said to give it another 2 days to work out of her system and then it should get better. I didn't give her the drug this morning (thank goodness) so this will count as day one. He said since it was only 2 days of drugs with one being given by the hospital so like a half dose, maybe it won't take the full 2 days to get out of her system.

She's screaming "HELP ME. HELP ME." all night. She repeats it while awake, then if she does fall asleep it turns into a crazy loud scream so much so that she ends up waking herself up only to be very upset stating someone is yelling at her. I am guessing she is hearing herself yell and doesn't recognize it as herself. I do live with my dad but since I'm doing the caring and he's doing the working, I can't ask him to take care of her and work (he's hoping to retire next year but he isn't even related to her by blood so while he's sympathetic and will keep her company while I cook, clean and get dressed or shower, he isn't real good with the caregiving part of it.

I have a caregiver who comes for 3 hours in the morning. This morning I had to cancel (they said to change the time would take a week or so and by then I won't need it) because I had to take her back to the doctors due to the side effects Cipro was causing but since she isn't sleeping either, I'm hoping I can get her to at least relax an hour this afternoon so I can nap. No sleep is terrible. I should consider myself lucky because normally for having severe dementia, she's pretty easy going.
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Some places do offer respite care temporarily. Nursing homes mainly. But if your grandma is awake and screaming all night I'm not sure it would be a good idea to place her in respite care right now. I'm not sure she'd even be allowed while she's sick.

I sympathize with you. I know how difficult it is and when we're sleep deprived everything is just so much more difficult. Do you have a close friend or a family member that can spend a night so you can get some sleep? I guess if you did you wouldn't be asking about respite care.

All that being said, is your grandma screaming out in pain? Have you spoken to her Dr. about it? When someone is screaming all night something is terribly wrong.
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I think you are talking about respite care.

If you are taking care of your grandmother 24/7, you might start looking into a care facility for her, or having caregivers coming in at least in the evenings so that you can get sleep.

Click on the Senior Living tab and options should pop up. Respite could be arranged through a local Assisted Living or NH, depending on the level of care that your GM needs.
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