We never leave her without care. We arrange for caregivers to drop in on her several times a day. She is particularly scared of being alone during the late evening hours.
She lives on her own (we live nearby) but never has any trouble sleeping or getting through the night....that is, until we plan a trip. She gets overly worried weeks before our trip. Her new thing is asking me to hire someone to "sleepover." I cannot see paying someone over $200. a night just to sleep.
I know that her fear is irrational, but it makes it miserable for me and I don't even want to leave because I know she will work herself into a panic attack.
Is this a symptom of sundowner's or just her way of guilting me into staying home?
She has also started talking about wanting to return to her home state where she will have absolutely no one to care for her.
I am at the end of my rope and ready to send her back.
Any suggestions about making her feel calm in the evenings, without hiring a babysitter? I really need a vacation....thanks

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Yes, you need a vacation - guilt free. Your mom talking about wanting to go back to her home state suggests that maybe she's living in a past state indicative of dementia. She may need more supervision than seems obvious, as wandering can occur unexpectedly, especially with Alzheimer's disease.

I'd spring for the overnight care. It's likely the only way you'll be able to detach from her situation enough to enjoy your vacation.
She may be, as you say, "guilting" you into this, but whatever the reason, she does seem to have some real issues. For you to relax, you'll need to know she's not in danger.

It's hard, I know. I found it hard to take a vacation even when my elders were in a nursing home, because they were so dependent on me to do special things for them, and to see them daily. However, we do have to take care of ourselves.
Please set this up so you can have some respite - as worry free as any caregiver can have.
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Thanks is such a "catch-22" if I give in and hire sitters, she will escalate her demands. If I place her in a facility where there is 24hr. staff on duty, she will expect me to be there everyday, because these people "do not know what they are doing."
I do not have a minute in the day when I am not doing something for her or thinking about her needs. I agree with you, even on vacation I am worried that she will have a panic attack and make it so I will have to come home. I am very much in burnout right now.
Mom does not have Alz....she is very much in control...of everything! However, I just came across an article on one of the medications (Toporol) she takes and the side effects are panic attacks and a racing heart. Her docs never mentioned this even though she made them aware of her symptoms. So I am going to see if she can do without this med or change to another.
Thanks for your is reassuring to hear from someone who has been through this.....Lilli
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Can she stay with someone while you are away? If not, I would hire someone. It doesn't sound like she should be alone. Maybe it would be do-able if a caregiver came as late at night as possible, and as early in the morning. She should be wearing a medic alert button should she fall.
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