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I have had an issue recently with Gran being extremely confused and disoriented after any amount of sleep. She is normally quite lost as it is, but it has been particularly bad in the last week or so.
Yesterday evening, she fell asleep while watching TV in her room. She couldn't have been asleep for more than 30 minutes or so, but when she woke back up around 8:30 pm, she was fully convinced it was the start of a new day. It took me a long time to talk her out of restyling her hair and putting on some new clothes!
Whether or not it is light or dark outside doesn't seem to be any kind of clue to her anymore. She wakes a lot during the night and I can hear her banging around in her room. Sometimes I can hear her doing 'new day' things (setting her hair, rummaging for jewelry, etc.). I am afraid that she will keep lapsing and end up at a point where she's trying to start the day in the very wee hours of the morning or the middle of the night.
Anyone have any experience with this, or any advice? Is it normal progression of the disease, or is there a chance there might be an outside cause? Right now, all I can think to do is try and prevent her from falling asleep in the middle of the day, but she falls asleep so fast (and sometimes so briefly) that it means checking on her every 15 minutes or so. She likes her privacy and doesn't enjoy me inviting myself into her room.

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I am not sure what to do my mother-in-law is very confused in the morning and sometimes calls late. She is in a assisted living residence. We have started putting the phone where we can't hear it at night. she will call and ask what day it is in the middle of the night. Today she is extremely confused and agitated called at 6 am.
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My husband has done this for about a year. Light and dark don't mean anything to him. He will wake from a nap and think it's the next day. Unfortunately, he is now no longer able to tell time. He can see the clock but his brain can't process it. This has never seemed to disturb him too much, although it was highly disturbing to me when I was working and needed sleep.
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Yes this is"normal"... My mother will start the day anytime after midnight...dressed,doing hair , sometimes waking me telling me she hasn't eaten since yesterday and the fact we are asleep ,it's pitch black out and she's wearing a watch doesn't mean anything...I wake her in the day to try and stop this but it's of little use...
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Confusion on waking is fairly normal in my Mom's life. In the mornings she often wanders around the house opening drapes and trying to figure out where she is. She has lived in this house for more than 50 years. She doesn't know what town she is in often thinks she is in the city where she grew up. If she takes a nap she often wonders what is wrong with her that she slept so long. She doesn't realize she had been up, had breakfast, then napped. Naps really disorient her but I will take that instead of the continual "where am I".
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Perhaps it's a UTI (bladder infection). UTI infections can cause great confusion in the elderly. Most drug stores sell at-home UTI test kits.
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I don't know about using "normal" and "dementia" in the same sentence, but this kind of confusion is certainly not unusual in dementia.

I got a clock that projects the time (along with am or pm) on the ceiling. That went a long way toward helping my demented mom to figure out whether to start the day when she woke up in the middle of the night. She could see this without putting her glasses on or turning on lights.

If her sleep patterns get way off, discuss it with her doctor.

Good luck with your dear Gran.
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Day and night will get mixed up, BUT I would want to know where her sugar level is when she is confused. High blood sugar will make you sleepy and low blood sugar will agitate you. Might be worth checking.
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