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Is 6 1/2 hours sufficient? Moms Gerontologist told us to give her Melatonin 5mg for sleep. It works to get her to sleep but it is marginal, taking about 3 hours to finally get her to sleep. I give it at about 7pm, hidden in her evening snack because she refuses to take ANYTHING for sleep. It is 7:18 am and she is standing in my bedroom door as I am typing wanting the dog to wake up and come out of my room and yelling at me that "If I don't like it, I can pack my stuff and move out!" I have been awake since 4:30 am when she awoke me with the lights on and her at my bedside, covering the dog because it was "cold." The dog was sound asleep!!! This happens very often. (dog use to sleep in her room but left because Mom was driving it crazy) I have panic and anxiety and am finding it more and more difficult to handle this. I need sleep!!!

I have been caring for Mom for the past 8 years and prior to that my father, brother in law and aunt for a total of 17 years. Mom is the only one with dementia (moderate-severe). And the most difficult, worse than all three of the others combined!

I am at my wits end not being able to find the help I need. I am shaking like a leaf because I am so upset right now. Our Gerontologist is of no real help and I am having difficulty finding another one. To top it off Mom refuses to go to the doctor so my sister has to take off work and we have to literally force her to go and I do mean one of us on each side of her.

I am also my mother's Power of Attorney for Finances and Medical and there are bills to pay, checkbooks to balance and the only time I can do this is at night when she has gone to bed. All she has to do is see anything with the banks name on it and she goes into a rampage wanting to know where her checkbook is and arguing about it. Last night I took ZzzQuil to fall asleep at 12 midnight after balancing the checkbook. I am then awakened at 4:30 by her with the dog and she gets loud, screaming and my daughter and sister are trying to sleep so they can go to work and school.

I don't know how long Mom had been awake but if she went to sleep at 10pm and was awake by 4:30 am she is getting 6 1/2 hours sleep. Is that all the sleep she needs or should be getting? I personally wish she was sleeping til 7:30 or 8:00 just so I could get some sleep. I don't really want to see her doped up, but the doctor gave me Trazodone 50MG for her that I need to try. The problem is once again, it is a pill that is suppose to be given at bedtime and she will not take anything that is suppose to allow her to sleep. The only way I can give it to her is to hide it in her food.

Can somebody HELP ME PLEASE! I CANNOT KEEP GOING ON LIKE THIS!
I need ideas, I need advice to continue to care for her at home.

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Over sleeping isn't our issue, but has anyone tried making the final meal of the day with turkey? I'd think the tryptophan would aid in getting them more relaxed, with the side benefit of being more healthy than some other meats.
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When you get right down to it, the real reason that I struggled with medicating my MIL was - fear of what others would think. I was wrong. In the end, it should be about comfort - hers AND mine.
Also, playing around with meds and dosages continues to be daunting - but I'm glad I stuck with it.
I am limping along beside her to the finish line
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Maria is so right. I have never understood the hesitancy to provide medication to make them more comfortable. They do not like feeling the way they do, we definitely do not need the additional stress. All will feel much better when these symptoms are relieved.
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I would definitely try the trazadone and if it doesn't work, get something else. My MIL doesn't sleep much without medication. How is that a nice life - for her or you? We tried the trazadone and it worked for a few months.......then stopped working. She now takes 25 mg Seroquel and .5 Haldol at bedtime and she sleeps for about 7 hours. I've come full circle about drugs. Why not medicate her when her "normal" produces anxiety for her and you?
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We had the same problem with my father in law. He wouldn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and it just about killed us. We finally tried Seraquel (quetiapine 100 mg) at night and we are ALL so much better. He sleeps 10 straight and is so much more reasonable while awake and he isn't dizzy in the morning as he was with other drugs. I
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HC, check out this thread maybe there is help there.
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/grandmother-does-not-sleep-at-night-166799.htm

I do not know what I would do if my mom slept so little! Mine is about 12 hours a night, though she is up and dow the first two and last two of that. Have you eliminated caffeine? One thing I do not give my mom is candy or anything loaded with sugar. When she has it she becomes the energizer bunny, that is followed by the sugar crash, to agitation and anger. Hard on her and me too. She never has a soda, if she has a cookie or some other sugar laden treat it is never after 3 in the afternoon. Their behavior with dementia is so child-like, and we all know how kids are on sugar, IMO the dementia brain does not know how to process the sugar correctly. You might add some chamomile tea, I even give this to my mom in the morning, it seems to take the edge off.
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Eyerishlass: You would think that maybe having her do the checkbook balancing would be a good idea but, alas it is not! She was helping herself to Mom's money paying her own bills, that is the reason I (middle daughter) became the POA to stop the bleeding of Mom's accounts. She (oldest) became irate and since she has hated me since birth, well she likes to pretty much make everything hard or miserable, this is how she gets her joy I think, although she is pretty miserable herself.

I have thought about asking my younger sister if I can run out to her house every other weekend and just have space and time to do the work I need to get done. That isn't perfect but my mother goes crazy over the entire checkbook issue and has not given up on getting it back. I tell you my stomach literally turns when I see her getting out her purse or wallet because I know what is coming next. It happened today and I managed to redirect her by asking her to please fold and put away the clean towels but that was a miracle. It is amazing how a 100 pound 4'11" woman can raise fear in you!!

I know I have to figure out a way around this and come up with something to allow me the time to get things done during the day. I would like to relax in the evening. Most of the time I feel like an unpaid slave instead of a caregiver. Everyone else doesn't give a darn either, because it is NOT THEM.

Things could change, not necessarily for the better, in the next couple of months. My sister (older) is not going to have a job. It may be hell around here (already is) or she may have to start bearing some of the burden. And, and...my daughter is graduating from college and until she finds a job, she is going to help as well!

I called the Pharmacist regarding the Trazadone and Melatonin and she recommended Ambian and the doctor approved it so I picked it up. I asked older sister to hide it in her ice cream and she did, but she made a large bowl, rather than a small cup so Mom could not eat it all. I think the medication went down the drain. Two hours later she is roaming the halls! I do not know how you can force anyone to take a pill they do not want to take. So I guess there may be little sleep tonight again, but I do need to go to bed and see how much I am able to cash in on!

Oh I did crush up the Trazadone to use and I tasted it and it literally made my heart race and hurt, really fast too. I thought "Oh my God they are going to find me dead from a heart attack caused by tasting moms sleeping pill!!!!! Film at 11!!
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HolyCow,

What a mess you are dealing with! I know that when I don't get enough sleep even just one night I am miserable the next day. You have to be exhausted.

One option is to try the Trazadone. Just crush it up into her food like you do the Melatonin. If she's too dopey the next morning do just a half dose the next night.

The other option is instead of trying to get your mom to sleep longer than 6 hours go to bed earlier yourself so at least you're rested when she meanders into your room the next morning. You have no control over her sleep but you do have control over yours. Don't stay up till midnight with the check book. I know you said if she sees her banking info laying around she gets agitated but could you get a different cover for the check book and tell her it's your stuff? I understand this all is easier said than done but I'm just brainstorming. Can you get her banking online and take care of it that way? Or how about turning over the checkbook to your sister? You're the caregiver to your mom, you live together, you put up with all of these issues, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask your sister to pitch in with the checkbook stuff. This way it's out of the house, mom won't throw a hissy fit every time you work on it, and maybe you can get some sleep.
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