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I am the live in caregiver for my 85 year old grandma. She has Alzheimer's so she can't really be on her own anymore. Normally she goes to bed around 8pm but lately she keeps getting up at like 3am. It's not really a problem because she just sits down and colors one of her coloring books, but it does mean she is up and hungry for three hours before I get up at 6:30am. The real issue is that when she gets up early, she goes to bed early and then wakes up earlier and earlier. Would it be advisable to just let her get up whenever she wants or should I put a note on the table that says if it's before 6am it's too early to be up and leave clock there for her?


The more tired she is during the day the grouchier she is and the less compliant she is about taking her medications, eating, and not snapping at my 7 year old daughter. I don't want to be pushy or rude with her, she is my grandma and I love her but I also don't want her to be up so early every day.

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I have read that sleeping disorders are common with people who have dementia/Alzheimers. I would discuss it with her doctor, who might prescribe something to help her stay asleep. That would help as keeping her on a schedule might be good for now and especially as she progresses.

Some people report success with notes, directions, etc. for people with dementia, but I never had any luck with it. My cousin never read a note that I left for her and if I asked her to read it, it didn't compute in her brain. She couldn't understand the words. You could try and see what works. I would be wary of allowing her to wander around the house when you are asleep. She could mishandle an appliance, stove, mistake meds, leave house, etc.
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Would your grandma even pay attention to a note and a clock?

It sounds like she's gotten her days and nights mixed up. Have you tried keeping her up past 8pm?

How about medication? Keep her up till about 9pm and give her a sleeping pill prescribed by her Dr.
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