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Is that normal? Or what can I do?


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A medication check is in order as some meds can manifest into hallucinogenic thoughts.
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Yes its normal. What I do when that happens I sleep with her. Now they are afraid of the dark and like little kids now there are monsters in the room😢
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So many people are unaware of UTI behavior changes. I found out about it years ago when a friend's mother was in a rehab and being hearing/seeing things that didn't happen. Someone (outside the facility staff) told her to have mom checked for UTI and ta-dah - had an infection and the medication returned her to normal behavior. Since that time, I've told tons of people about it who had never heard of such a thing. It still bothers me that you have to get this info 'off the street' when the staff at hospitals and facilities are very aware of the problem. I can only it up to, they may not recognize it as quickly as family because they are not familiar with what normal behavior is for your loved one.

Another one to check for is onset of leg cramping-feeling like heart is racing. These can be signs of low sodium, potassium, magnesium and easily found with blood test. Anxiety-scared feeling-drunk sounding can be signs of low sugar and often caused because the medication for high sugar is dropping the level too quickly and may need to be lower dosing as needed to avoid quick drop.

All of this, I learned the hard way. The sugar drop issue was created when a dr wrote a double dose of blood sugar med when released from a hosp. The symptoms and many trips to ER never id'd the problem. Her doctor even wrote in her chart probable ischemic (sp?) strokes. About a year of this mess and I finally figured out it was the medicine after reading an AARP article. The sodium problem nearly cost her life while in a rehab. She and I both said she had bad leg cramps and they would respond it was only arthritis. She was of sound mind so I knew that she knew the difference. It took four days to get the blood test with a STAT report back to the facility in writing and by phone to send her to nearest ER....and I found out later they got the report/call early in day and waited until late evening to call the ambulance.
Trust your gut when you see fast changes in your loved one.
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I can back you up in the UTI camp. The first I heard about it was on this forum. I was very skeptical. Then mom developed some serious sun-downing on a Friday evening/night. Okay in the morning, returned at evening/nightime. No access to doc over the weekend so we had to get by until Monday. I wanted it checked for a different reason and sure enough, she had a UTI. We had to treat with antibiotics AND anti-anxiety before evening onset of symptoms until it cleared. No need for meds after.

More recently, she started bed-wetting (soaking) at night. We had already switched to disposables, but she was really wetting everything. They tested for UTI, sure enough, there it was! No sun-downing this time, but it does appear from various reports on this site that many people experience many different things, not the classic pain when going, etc.

It is an easy, inexpensive test, can be done initially at home, and can often resolve these odd behaviors/symptoms (and restore our sanity!) that show up out of nowhere! While it could be transition to a new phase, it is best to test and rule it out. If someone, whether they have dementia or not, starts acting in an uncharacteristic way, TEST!
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Good suggestions. Your profile indicates UTI - has she been tested recently? I was a big skeptic when I first joined this forum and saw recommendations for this but after two instances now, I am a convert!

Any "new" behavior could be related to a UTI. Mom is generally easy going, but the first one after moving to MC caused some serious sun-down behavior, demanding to get out, had to go home for guests, etc. We needed to treat it AND give her anti-anxiety meds later in the day, before symptoms appeared (she was okay morning/afternoon.) The more recent one manifested as nighttime bed-wetting. She already wears disposables, mainly for little accidents as she is not incontinent yet, but she was soaking the bed and herself. After treatment, no more bed-wetting. So, ANY odd behavior, you should at the least do the home test to rule that out.

Asking her might help to determine what is causing it. It could be "normal" for her dementia, but it might be something you can help "fix." Shadows, noises, hallucinations, UTIs - so many ways those with dementia can be "affected." Every person can exhibit different behaviors.

If it is just something about the room or her dementia, and you can't find a simple solution (night light, change of room, roommate), consider a low dose anti-anxiety, Melatonin, anything that helps take the edge off! Mom only took the Lorazepam, lowest dose, during the first UTI treatment, to avoid the upset she had with it. Doesn't take time to build up, doesn't dope her up, just calmed her. Haven't used it since, but have it on hand, just in case!

Hope you can get to the bottom of her fear and find a solution!
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Is she able to converse with her? Can you ask her? Some have hallucinations that strike mostly at night. That is true for my brother with his Lewy's. They can be quite real, often occurring just after getting up to bathroom and returning to bed. She may be able to give you some idea of what is bothering her. I hope so.
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Have you asked her why?
There could be lots of reasons.
A shadow on the wall may look imposing or frightening
A sound that she might hear frightens her, when the furnace or AC kicks on, when someone flushes the toilet, the neighbors dog barking or any number of things.
She just might be feeling lonely and it is more pronounced now. She may have felt this way for a long time but with dementia "filters" are dropped so she expresses what she is feeling more now than she did before.
Lighting might take care of the shadows, or moving whatever is in her room that creates the shadow.
Quite music or a "white noise" or other noise may help block out other noises.
A weighted blanket or body pillow, or if acceptable a cat that would curl up next to her. (Obviously weighted blanket and body pillow might be problematic if she is incontinent and soaks through.)
Last resort..medications. If she is having anxiety at other times is to discuss this with her doctor there are medications that can help. Actually I should not say last resort because the goal here is not to "dope her up" but to make her comfortable at all times. I am sure night time is not the only time she is frightened but night time is when all the fears you can keep at bay during the day are able to get stronger, you relax, you are tired and you can focus on your fears.
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Marylepete Sep 2019
I agree soft music can do wonders! In fact my mother and now my husband find that to be so comforting at any time of day. For me it would be a soft cuddle blanket.
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Yes it is normal with dementia. My mom stop sleeping in her bed and would sleep on the couch. She said, she felt safer there. Once she was on medication she would sleep in her bed
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Juarezc, do you have night lights in Grandmother's room? I know I cannot sleep in a totally dark room as when I wake up during the night it can scramble my brain. The night lights have been a tremendous help. Have been using night lights since they were invented :) Non-LED night lights work best.

If you can't find non-LED night lights [these are way too dim], find a small lamp and place a 25 watt bulb.
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when i was a kid, i was scared. my brothers took charge: they found a butterfly poster where I saw the monster, and the put up a magic fishing weight this man had, with a whole story to go with it. over the years I lost the weight, but remember the story. I finally framed my poster before it got all torn up, and it hangs in our living room. Treasure from the past.... >)

a joke in the readers Digest. this man saw a phychiartist. he was afraid of the monters under the bed.. a few weeks went by, and the dr say the patient in a bar. Dr... why did you stop the sessions? Patient: I found this bartender, and a $10 drink he cured me. He said to chop of the bed legs.
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HA, sounds like 'Little Monsters'! He cut off the legs/set up a trap to catch little brother's "Monster".
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Way back in 2016, there was a thread on this very subject here on the AgingCare forum which received 69 comments. Hopefully you'll find some useful tips from the link below:

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/mother-afraid-to-sleep-alone-194338.htm?orderby=recent

Just so you know, if you post a question in the Search bar here on the site, by the magnifying glass, all the threads on that subject that ever took place will pop up, so you can click and find answers!

Best of luck!
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