Is there anything to be done for my mom who stays up most of the night terrorized by "the man in the ceiling fixture"?

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She's in a lovely memory care facility and they come in periodically to reassure her, but the net result is that she's awake most of the night, sleeps much of the day, and then cannot doesn't fall asleep again until the wee hours the following night, leading to more hallucinations. I've asked the staff to get her up earlier and encourage earlier bedtimes (like 10p), but they give me some baloney about "resident rights." She's becoming less engaged in daily activities she still enjoys largely b/c she's too sleepy to participate. It's become a vicious cycle!

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
Man in the ceiling? Sounds like sundowning to me. What meds is she taking? May be time to check with the doc on increasing dosage or even trying a different med.
A good memory care should have staff with the skills to get someone with dementia to cooperate. Granted some residents behaviours may be especially challenging, but washing their hands by quoting "patient's rights" is just a cop out.
Hi CA,
My mom did the same. I'd keep her awake all day only to have her awake all night. She would talk to God (please dear God, save me.), hallucinate seeing her mom and dad, pick at her clothing and diaper to get naked in the bed so she could pee on the floor (that one really got to me since I was taking her to the bathroom 2-3 times a night), occasionally scream at the top of her lungs in the wee hours of the morning, etc.

If she fell asleep on the couch she seemed to awaken less frequently. When we would put her to bed in her room, the agitation started. One of us was always with her in the bedroom due to the urinating problem.

We went through 3 different meds to help her sleep (no sleeping pills however). Nothing worked. It's just part of the disease. That's one of the reasons we could no longer care for her in our home. The c/g can't be awake 24/7.

As they age with dementia, it's too bad that they get more and more agitated and, other than drugging them into oblivion, nothing else works. :(
Top Answer
There are a number of meds that will.not drug her into oblivion. Check with her doctor. I doubt that mom is content or even comfortable when this happens. My grandma was similar. Upon talking to her doc it was realized the nursing home was giving her meds the wrong time of day. Sleepy ones during the day. Switched meds around, problem solved after she had been found on the ground in the parking garage at night. That also led to a secure unit for her.
My mother had so many delusions I couldn’t recount all of them. They lasted all day, so even though she did have sundowning, that wasn’t all it was. In addition, she was combative. She had no idea if it was 3AM or 3PM and wouldn’t believe you if you told her.

Like Gladimhere, when my mom began trying to escape, cutting through her ankle monitor twice, we decided she needed to be in the secure unit. It wasn’t “Memory Care” because there was no memory to care for. The staff was specially trained to care for their patients. They knew which meds were more likely to work and what side effects they might have. The unit was smaller and there was more staff. I was very happy with the care she got there.

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