I'm caring for my grandmother. She's 86 years old and has dementia. She's usually a sweet lady but I've been struggling. She has this terrible cycle of not sleeping. She'll some days not sleep for up to three days then crash. Unfortunately sometimes she crashes during the day which is bad for me as I have things I do during the day.
On a side note, my mom has cancer so I became the primary caregiver with grandma's care. Mom was helping for a while, then grandma got shingles so she cannot be near her. So everyday I have to take my mom to get radiation and once a week to get chemo. It's an hour away (it was the best location for oral cancer). We have helpers for grandma that comes everyday so we can do these treatments. Between doctor appointments for both of them, these daily treatments and just daily housework, I'm not able to catch up on missed sleep.
So we spoke to the doctor about it and he said instead of giving her sleeping pills, he thought that would harm her, instead he said sleeping training. I have worked with many kids so I know all about sleep training. We found through trial and error that sometimes when she's up after 3, she will sleep at night. So we started doing this. The problem is she would like to sleep all day long and not at all at night. At night she gets real bored, starts talking, crying out, asking questions, going to the bathroom everytime her pee drops because she just wants to get out of the chair and be 'awake' for the day where as I cannot possibly do that. So I've been trying to wake her up at 3. It's going terribly. She gets so angry when she's woken up. She screams, threatens, calls me names, throws things and even says she'd rather be with anyone other than me. But if I don't keep her awake she doesn't sleep at all during the night and I'm a terrible caregiver. I'm at my wits end. Does anyone have any suggestions or is any else dealing with this? As soon as mom's treatments end, which is in two weeks, I have to think about going back to work. Mom said she will handle care while I work but the nights will still need to be mine as she needs her rest (totally understandable as she's going to be hopefully recovering from cancer and not being able to eat for 3 months). I'm really getting upset by the abuse and the word nursing home keeps being thrown around by everyone (including her although she doesn't want to go. Instead she compares me to the worst people in her mind which is those people.)
I understand dementia is hard on moods. We are lucky to have her so happy go lucky on the days we have her that way. I just wish there was something that to either make it easier on my grandma still allowing me to get some much needed sleep or something that I could convince myself that I'm doing the best for everyone. Help!