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According to my step-mother, my dad, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, stays awake every other night just walking around the house or sitting in the living room. I can't say that this isn't the truth because I am not there.Since he constantly talks about going home, I think he doesn't always realize that he lives there and is waiting for someone to take him home to where he sleeps. . They have been married for 15 years and Dad's memory at times takes him back 20 years and sometimes 60 years.Dad is 86 years old. I suggested she give him a calming tea or maybe even Melatonin. She says he won't drink tea and refuses to give him Melatonin. Has anyone tried a lavender essential oil vapor or another sent?

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Ptshopper,
I think I might examine whether his wife is able to look after your dad's best interest. Does he have a Durable POA and Healthcare POA? If it's her, then, I'd see an attorney about the options. When you have that role, your duty is to do what's best for the person. Based on your observations, there may be something that is preventing his wife from doing this.

Of course, there may be things that she has not revealed that justify her actions, but, if his mental or physical health is in jeopardy, she needs to take heed. Maybe, the two of you just disagree on how things need to be done. OR maybe she's in denial.

Whatever is going on, I'd take measures to ensure my dad got proper help...regardless of his wife's protests. Legal action is not the easiest route, but, you do what you gotta do to protect a parent. I'd find out what is required, so I could get the evidence needed to go that way if necessary.

Lack of sleep is not healthy for either of them. Medical advice should be obtained. And I would figure a way to confirm that mom will follow medical advice. The fact that she's not properly medicating your dad, after the doctor has prescribed it is troublesome. If there's a reason he is bothered by the med, then adjustment may be required, but it needs to be brought to the doctor's attention. Mental anguish in a person with dementia is just as serious as physical pain. I would ensure dad gets treated for that.
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jeannegibbs-Why would I question what my stepmother tells me? She tries to manipulate my brother and I to make us feel guilty. She doesn't accept any suggestion we give her. The doctor has given her medication for my dad's aggression during "sundowing" and she refuses to use it. Without trying it, she says it will make him worse. I have hired people to come into their home to help; she has fired them. We have suggested adult daycare. She says he won't go because he don't want to do anything. She won't hesitate to try to drop him off at my house whether I am home or not. She asks my brother and I to take a day off work so she can go on her Casino trips. When we tell her we can't do that, she drags my father to the casino and then complains because that is a burden. This is a very difficult situation.
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86 years old? That generation drank a lot of whisky. Offer him a shot of his favorite bourbon. Only one.
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There is damage to your dad's brain. I'm afraid that essential oils or tea, etc. would have much effect.

Cwillie is right -- the inability to sleep through the night is often the straw that breaks the camel's back. I absolutely could not have kept my husband home with me if we didn't get that issue solved. Between a sleep psychiatrist and a behavioral neurologist they came up with a drug to try that worked fine for us. (We had tried melatonin with no success.)

Adult Day Care was a wonderful resource for my husband. I highly recommend it. But I don't think I could have even gotten him up to go in the morning if the sleep issue hadn't been solved first.

Why would you question what your stepmother tells you about your father's behavior? Is there some problem there?
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This isn't uncommon, and you can be sure if he is not sleeping she isn't able to either because she has to worry about him getting into something he shouldn't or wandering off to go "home". This can be a real deal breaker when it comes to the ability to keep someone out of a facility because the caretaker will eventually break down, either mentally or physically. There are medications that can be tried to get him to sleep an night, if he is wandering around all night it isn't simple insomnia and I doubt that herbal remedies will be effective.
He may also sleep better if he is more active during the day, adult day care can be a very welcome relief for the caregiver and a source of friendship and stimulation for your dad, see if they are willing to give that a try.
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ptshopper, whenever someone who has Alzheimer's says they want to "go home", the home they are referring is their childhood home, back when life was simpler and happier.

It is very common for those with memory issues to be up all night, wandering throughout the house, then sleep until early afternoon. It is very difficult to change them back to a regular routine with help from a doctor [sorry, scents probably won't work as when one ages they loose their sense of smell]. Have your step-Mom take Dad to the doctor and have her ask if there is any type of medicine that could calm him down at night so that he would sleep.

My Dad had "sundowners", which means in the middle of the afternoon his mind will start going back in time. He would think he was back in the 1940's, at work, and that his Assisted Living/Memory Care room was a hotel. Eventually I learned to play along with his thinking as it was much easier and didn't upset Dad.
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