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Last night, I awoke at 1:30 am because my father had gotten up and turned on his light. He took his morning 1 minute shower (no soap, no shampoo), bathroomed, and presumably shaved and dressed (guessing there). He used to use a razor where you changed the blades but about 1.5 years ago, he could no longer change the blades (too hard for him, vision too poor) so he switched to fully disposable. He claimed about 6 months ago that they no longer "worked" which of course they did but his face was often cut, and the hairs were all different lengths. Finally, I got him an electric razor, and he can shave. He can't properly comb his hair. He got up again at 2:30 am for 10 minutes. I keep my bedroom door open so the cats can come and go, and I can see when his light is on. Early this year, he got up one morning at 1:30 am, did his morning stuff, and went downstairs. I followed him downstairs and asked him what he was doing. He said "It's time to get up." I pointed out the time, and he was surprised. He went and sat in his recliner until dawn.

First, some background. He's bipolar, and when he was manic, he would get up in the middle of the night and tear the house apart throwing things away. Although he is now depressed instead, my auto response system sends me in to a panic when he gets up in the middle of the night, and I can't sleep. I had to take half a Xanax myself which I hate to do. He didn't get out of his room this morning, so I figured he'd had diarrhea in his pants again. I asked him this morning, and I was wrong. He said, he thought it was morning. I asked him if he couldn't see his clock. I bought him a new one with huge numbers that's lit up. He said he just didn't look at it until he was ready to leave the room. I offered to set the alarm (I doubt he could turn it off) or manually wake him each day but he declined.

He is in bed for 9 to 10 hours a day, and he usually doesn't wake at all during the night. He has trazodone an hour before I wake him from the recliner to go to bed. This was originally prescribed because, when he was manic, he couldn't sleep. When not in bed, he spends all but meals and bathroom time in his recliner. He turns the TV on from when he gets up to about 10 or 11 am, and then again from 6 pm to 10 pm but he's often asleep or not paying attention to it. He is asleep 18 to 20 hours a day. He has no sense of time. He now leaves on about 25% of the lights he turns on, and he used to be obsessed with turning lights off. He won't talk unless a simple, direct question is asked, sometimes multiple times. He's been like this for almost two years now. I had a visitor last year, and she asked me if he was alive when she came through. I check for a moving chest most times that I walk past him. Most noises no longer awake him since he's also hard of hearing.

Is there someway to keep him from thinking it's dawn before 6 am so I don't go insane myself? Thanks.

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My account name is Zombie but I've never called myself that. My father controls where he lives. I live in his house. I can't make him leave his own house. Stress is about more than just chores for him. I work non-stop, and the work for him is a minor part.
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Zombie: I'm confused b/c you call yourself that name on your post. You are in control as to where your dad lives. You say it takes very little time to take care of him, but then it seems like you are so stressed out by your many duties.
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I am all alone. My late mother controlled all our lives. My brother doesn't help us nor is he really competent himself. He's immature. He won't answer questions. He has tantrums. My father is well enough to know that he doesn't want to move elsewhere. I haven't asked him about it because I know it would agitate him. Taking care of my my father himself takes very little time. I work non-stop at my low paying job and then taking care of my tons of animals, the house, yard, ponds, etc. It gets lonely but I've pretty much always been alone. If my father worsens, I'll have to get in-home care. My mother had them but only for a few hours here and there as she was too much of a handful! Btw, everyone keeps calling me Zombie but it's my father who's a Zombie. I'm the anti-zombie!
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Wow, Zombie, it seems as though you need a break. Have you thought about NH's and AL's?
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He sleeps most of the time. The rest of the time he doesn't do anything. I make sure he gets his meals. I never left home, been here 38 of my 43 years. I've been doing all the house and yard work for years. I now do all his finances too. He can still walk and bathroom himself. Until then, what good would helpers do? They'd watch him sleep?
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You're taking care of him in your home? How is this possible?
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A few things. First, my late mother did research that said melatonin is dangerous for bipolar patients. Second, my father sees a psychiatric nurse who won't talk to me (HIPAA). Third, I said I give him trazodone but he also gets lithium and risperidone. Since his bipolar diagnosis in 2004 at age 65 (yep), he's gone off those two meds twice. Both times, he went hyper manic and insane and was committed. So, he's staying on them! Other meds were tried and never worked. I was filing papers today and found his form from 2014 for health insurance, and it asked if he'd ever had a bunch of conditions (for a higher premium) including bipolar disorder and dementia, and he checked off that he has had none of those problems. He thinks he's just fine. Fourth, the new clock that I got him does glow in the dark, and it has huge letters. He can read it but he doesn't always look.
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While you are consulting with the docs about the meds, ask them if it would be OK to try a little melatonin, usually given a few hours before the desired bed time. Does not always work, but rarely has side effects either.
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Ferris's advice is spot on. He needs a reevaluation of his care plan.

When I moved mom from her home to IL, she had time issues. What helped to reset her body clock was: lights in each room on timers so light established whether is sunlight or gloomy outside. For what it's worth, I got torch lights at IKEA and put them on timers which all went on at 6:30 AM. Table lamps mom would mess & that was a no-go but torch amps she didn't! For the bathroom I found on a timer bathroom light at sharper image. One of the daughters of another resident, put a line up of outdoor "candles" with automatic timers on high shelves in the bathroom and hallway so soft light for nite time bathroom runs. Atomic clocks throughout are good too, once these are programmed their golden for years of worry free accurate time, day & weather! If he is the type to want to mess with clocks, mount them in a shadow box frame at eye level so he can't get his paws on the settings.

Good luck & get your rest too.
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First of all, if your father has been correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, why isn't he taking the gold standard Lithium carbonate for both the mania and depression? Trazadone may be the wrong medication for him, and he needs to be examined by a psychiatrist (who specializes in neurological disorders), which bipolar disorder falls under and can get his sleep-wake cycle corrected. You could also buy an inexpensive glow-in-the-dark clock so he knows the correct time. Both disorders require a structure to daily habits and keeping the wake/sleep cycle is paramount in keeping both under control. The bipolar disorder can be managed. The dementia is a terminal condition which cannot. Please get your father to a psychiatrist to treat his bipolar disorder correctly.
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The same with my dad. He cannot tell day or night. He would ask me if it's day or night. When I point outside the window and say, "It's day time. Look outside the window. You can see the sunlight." or "Look out the window, it's dark outside - so it's night." He would look out the window but he would have this blank look. He just cannot tell day/night. He can still read the dial clock. He has 2 watches - one on each hand. But he always looks at the wall clock for the time.

Mornings... Lately, he's been waking up at 4am- thinking it's close to dinner time. He will talk loud, call out our names, sing - until 6:30am.

Solution? Perhaps prescription drug?
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Their biological clock doesn't work. My mom does not know what day, month, or time it is. Day and night is all the same to her. In her world, time does not exist. I got her a watch that tells the time and has the day and month. She will ask me what month or day it is, and I tell her to look at her watch. She always forgets she has it, so, it is not something she will do on her own. But, she knows how to read it and figures it out. Which is amazing to me. When she was home with me, she never knew if it was night or day, light and dark didn't register with her. I told her to look at the am/pm marker on her clock, and she still didn't understand. There are so many things she has forgotten and would never remember again except maybe for a few seconds. So now she is sitting in a home dependent on strangers to take care of her.. She is slowly losing her fragile grasp on reality and it breaks my heart.
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My idea would be to keep reminding him that, if it's dark outside, it's too early to get up. Or to talk to his doc and see if there's anything pharmaceutically he thinks might work.

I sympathize. Mom would often want to get up at 4 am. It almost broke me. Caregivers need sleep.
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