My husband with dementia is waking at night and looking for things. Is there anything I can do to control this?


My husband was diagnosed in late 2015 with beginning stages of dementia. At his yearly testing in December 2016 our neurologist noted a slight decline as expected, but nothing significant. He is currently on Namenda XR and the Exelon patch. I am a very light sleeper so I hear all turns and movement. For the past few months he suddenly jumps up and needs to know where certain items are such as his shorts, wallet, or house keys. These items are either on the nightstand next to the bed or the chair next to the nightstand. The same thing happened tonight to the point of even though I told him where the shorts were, he had to put the lights on to see his shorts. On other nights he is feeling around on the nightstand for these objects making all kinds of noise feeling for them. Is there any suggestions as to how to possibly control this? What can be said or done to help the situation. Thank you for any suggestions. Sleepless in Florida

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.


Hi Jeanne Gibbs,
Thank you for your replies, but we do have motion sensing night lights in the room, especially a few on his side of the bed. They go off frequently. The one especially close even detects when he turns and the covers ruffles. I will also keep your first idea in mind as well.
Helpful Answer (0)

Another thought ... how about a very low night light to allow him to see the objects on his night stand and chair? My husband needed several night lights and I got in the habit of wearing a sleep mask.
Helpful Answer (1)

Ah, the sleepless caregiver! I think this is a more serious problem than many doctors realize. To them, looking to see where is shorts are is pretty benign. He is not out in the garage intending to go buy some shorts at 3:30 am.

BUT caregivers know that dealing with dementia even on a good night's sleep is challenging, and with repeated episodes of sleep deprivation it becomes dangerous.

Sleep issues were the first thing I wanted dealt with in my husband's dementia. Between his neurologist and a sleep psychiatrist they came up with a medical solution.

So definitely report this development to his doctors! And let them know how important it is to you being able to care for him at home.

Meanwhile, I wonder if this might be worth a try. Each night as he is going to bed, show him that you are putting this objects in a laundry bag or pillow case, etc. "And here are your house keys. And let's add your shorts." And then put them in the bed with him. "Any time you need to know where they are, they are hanging from the bedpost here." (Or next to your pillow or whatever.) I have no idea if that would help -- I didn't deal with that particular problem -- but I don't suppose it would hurt.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.