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I placed this in the Alzheimer-Dementia Forum and did not get an answer. Perhaps that was the wrong place, so I'm trying this one


What to do? Sister-in-law does not sleep through night, gets up, hears voices and answers them, is combative, confused, and paranoid.


Help! My sister-in-law has dementia. She lives with her son. She has not slept for the past 2-3 days. Checked for UTI and was put on antibiotics. Sleeps 1-2 hours a day, up all night. Comes into son and spouse room. They sometime only sleep three hours/night. Is seeing neurologist who has her on Trazodone sleep meds, to be given before bed. Her son moved the time up earlier, about 3 hours, hoping the meds would help her to sleep all night.


Hears people calling on phone asking her to help do things to patients at the hospital, even though she has been retired 8 years. (Used to be a nurse) She hears people talking about her. She answers these voices. She thought that a doctor was outside in the rain waiting for her. She checks front of house to see if someone is coming to meet her. Was upset that her son would not let her go outside. If they let her outside, she just wanders down the street looking for the doctor. Her daughter-in-law called the police. My sister-n-law would not go to the hospital by ambulance. Her son came home and took her to hospital. The hospital did not find a UTI, no major signs of infection, no elevated white blood cell counts no major signs of dehydration. They gave her an IV and sent her home. Had an appt with PMD but told her son that the doctor said not to come in. Her son checked and found out that this was not true. She gets angry and is combative. She is now very agitated, angry at the son's spouse because she won't let her go outside.


This site is extremely kowledgeable and helpful. We are at a loss and don't know what to do. Any help/advise is immensely appreciated. Should she be seeing another type doctor, besides her neurologist, and PMD. Should a mental health professional be involved? Is a gerontologist needed? We need advice as soon as you can give it. Thank you so much


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Isthisrealyreal

Thank you so much for your reply. You are one of the reasons that I came to this site. Even when one receives comments like I did, it is support like yours, that gives encouragement. I'm thankful for you. Just what I needed. God always gives us what we need, when we need it
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Thank so much to all of you for your replies. My sister-n-law is getting worse, but I did forward your answers to her son. We have discussed various options for the next line of care. Thank you so much for your help
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I'm so sorry that your family has to travel the dementia journey, it is brutal.

Does she have an actual diagnosis? I ask because some medications actually make certain dementia worse.

If the sleeping pill is not working they need to tell the doctor and get something else on board, they can not live like this.

I have read that people have had their loved ones that were displaying similar symptoms and anti anxiety medications helped.

I am blessed that my journey doesn't include aggression and wandering but my heart bleeds for the ones going through that.

You say they listened to her about a medical appointment so it was missed, she obviously has lost executive function and they will have to be in charge of her calendar and appointments.

Sometimes people are just unable to be cared for at home and a facility is the best option for all involved. They even have secure outdoor areas, so she could be out as much as she enjoys.

There are no easy answers on this journey and your family needs to get together and decide where to go from here. Remember SIL doesn't have the ability to behave or think reasonably, so what she wants doesn't get thrown into the equation. At this point it is what she needs and how that can be provided is the objective.

Best of luck getting her the professional help she needs to not be so spun out 22 hours a day.
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Trazodone often does not help me with sleep. I do think she might need another category of doctor and a change of medication for this serious debilitating behavior.
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So far as I get it, your sister-in-law is a widow who lives with her son and his wife, who are your nephew and niece-in-law. They are the people with the problem. Care in a facility is an obvious possibility for them to have considered. What do they think? Are you asking on their behalf? It might be easier if they posted on this site themselves. It's hard to understand difficult dynamics at third hand, because there could be other issues involved - location? finances? disagreements between the three of you? etc. Your SIL has had involvement with an MD, a neurologist, the hospital and the police. It doesn't sound as if another medico is the answer.
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Sugarbea Oct 25, 2018
No MargaretMcKen
There is no disagreements between the three of us. My spouse is her brother. We and her son discusses her issues in a loving family way. I know this site has good help, so I told him that I would help by posting and seeing what answers I could obtain. I thought that this was the least that I could do because he already has his hands full trying to sort through all this
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