How to keep your Senior awake during the day and sleeping at night?

Follow
Share

My father-in-law who has Dementia sleeps quite a bit of the day away. Unless you engage with him all day long, he will sleep. My husband tries to keep him awake by having him fold socks or towels, playing a card game, watching TV with him, looking thru photo albums, talking, but the minute you walk away or aren't talking to him, he is sleeping. Sometimes it's exhausting just trying to keep him awake! Then, as you could guess, he is awake at night ~ either getting up and down to go to the potty (for something to do), sitting out in the living room in the dark, wandering around downstairs, waking my mother-in-law up by talking to her, and won't go back to bed. It's like having a baby with their nights and days mixed up! Sometimes he gets confused and gets out of the bed and yells that he is wet and his bed is wet (and it won't be most of the time), or the bed is on fire and he can't lay down, and at times he will get belligerent about an issue when we go down there to try to get him back to bed (my MIL will ring the call button). How do we keep him up during the day other than what we are doing? How do we get him to sleep all night? We are on a tight schedule thru the week, up at 07:00, changing clothes/showering, breakfast at 7:30, etc, because I go to work, but it would be nice if he weren't begging to go to bed at 6:45pm!!! Telling him to stay awake when you are not right there with him is useless, he will sleep in the chair, or go in his bedroom and go to bed anyway. We are constantly getting up in the middle of the night trying to coax him back to bed, or trying to coax him into staying awake during the day, Help!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Seroquel and Trazadone at night is a miracle for my husband. Is coffee allowed in the daytime ? My husband loves to color and show me what he does and I just act as if he has colored the Mona Lisa....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Apparently our profile is wrong. He does have dementia and a myriad of other problems. My husband is an anesthesiologist and has not heard of the narcoleptic drug that you refer to in your story. That is the one we were interested in. He is asleep with the fork 1/2 way to his mouth as I type this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Prayerteam, my husband had dementia. I see by your profile that is not the case with your FIL. Discuss what is going on, in detail, with FIL's doctors. Let them know what a serious issue this is for your ability to care for him. If drugs might be helpful for him, the decision has to come from his doctors and take into consideration what his specific infirmities are and what other drugs he is taking.

I know how very hard this can be. Don't let his doctors get off claiming this isn't serious and there is nothing they can do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We are having the exact same issues with my FIL. What drug did he take for the narcoleptic issues? And what sleeping aid actually kept him asleep that long? We are lucky if we get 6 hours with a sleeping pill.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We had similar problems with my FIL. My 2 teenagers were ready to run away from home - very disturbing for everyone to hear moans, shouts etc all night long. Seroquel really did the trick, he sleeps for 10 hours and doesn't seem to have any dizziness the next day ( a problem we had with other meds in the past). Getting a good nights sleep has helped us cope an he, as well, seems much better now that he is well rested .
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This isn't going to please a lot of people, but for us the answer was drugs.

What your husband is doing with FIL is awesome. Keeping him engaged during the day is the best tactic. But in this case it doesn't seem to be sufficient.

My husband was quite agitated at night, and was up many times. That was my first concern, because I could not continue to keep him at home unless I could sleep. A zombie caring for a person with dementia is not a pretty sight. A sleep psychiatrist and a behavioral neurologist agreed on the drug we should try. It worked awesome!

But then my husband's excessive daytime sleepiness was an issue. In fact the doctors listened carefully to my detailed observations of his falls and then concluded he may be having "narcoleptic episodes" and literally falling asleep in the middle of a step! The prescribed something for that. It was our second miracle pill.

My husband still had dementia, but his quality of life soared on these medications.

So, he was taking something to stay asleep at night and also something to stay awake during the day. If you are opposed to drugs this sounds crazy, but it allowed our 10 year journey with dementia to proceed with some degree of normalcy in our daily life.

I am sure not saying that your FIL would benefit from the drugs my husband took. But I recommend tracking his activities and lack of activities for a while on paper and then discussing it with a dementia specialist.

(And drugs would not be a substitution for what his son is doing with him -- it would be a supplement.)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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