Is it time to get up yet?

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For over a year, my 84 year old mother has been living with us as her Alzheimer's made it impossible for her to live independently. We have challenges all day, mostly during sundowners and night. But every morning, we have a chant from her yelling down the hallway "Is it time to get up yet?" This usually starts around 430-5 AM. We have tried every type of medicine to help her sleep, but eventually we end up with this morning call before dawn.

I tried to soothe her at one point, but that was not working, as she wouldn't remember being soothed, and 5 minutes later it would start up again. I have tried music, TV, putting on the news, keeping TV off, sound machine, etc. I am trying to get her to self soothe, and bring her medicine and breakfast at 630-7. Has anyone else dealt with this in a different way?

I have heard of some people sleeping in the same room with their elderly parents; that just is not an option for me, unless I want my wife to divorce me. So I have heard that advice in the past, and I appreciate where it is coming from, but it is not a possible option.

Does anyone have any other answers and tactics to help manage this "is it time to get up yet" call every morning before dawn?

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If your mother has always been a morning person, this may be just her rhythm. I'm afraid that you may have to wait this out.

You seem very educated in all of the management devices available. I'd love to give you a real answer and say that "this will work," but as you know, everyone with the disease is different. She will, eventually, graduate from this behavior but slide into something else.

I can see that your moving in to sleep in her room would be very hard on your marriage and I'm not sure it would do any good (though apparently it does for some people). You and your wife may have to try to readjust your own schedules to go to bed earlier if at all possible and then just live with the early mornings for now.

Please let us know if you come upon a solution.
Carol
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Thanks Carol - I appreciate the advice, but I really don't think telling my wife she needs to go to bed early so she can get up at 430 - 5 AM every day with my mother is going to work any better. Any wives out there think you would be ok with that recomendation?
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What time does your mom go to bed at night? I wonder if keeping her up later would allow her to sleep longer in the morning?

The only other solution that comes to mind would be to have someone come in and stay with her at night and keep her quiet so you could sleep later. Not a very good solution...but I'll keep thinking.
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blannie - by 8 PM she is ready to go to sleep. I tried keeping her up to 9-930 PM, but she gets really mean then.
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