Mom getting up and wandering at night, confused. Any tips?

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My mom has been at an assisted living facility for about 4 months. She seemed to be doing really well, tells me how much she likes it, staff are friendly, etc. She can't remember much so she can't tell me what goes on during the day. Today I was visiting and the adminstrator pulls me aside and tells me that mom has started waking up in the night and comes out of her room and is confused. They are suggesting moving her to a room that is further away from the entrance so it's less likely she will just walk out. she also said that mom was speaking up in meetings, basically saying whatever she's thinking, and it was bothering other residents. Nothing inappropriate. that doesn't sound like my mom, but I know behaviors can change. I'm freaking out a little. the administrator doesn't want to put mom in memory care and neither do I, but not sure what to suggest to keep mom from wandering at night. One thought was to give her something to help her sleep the night, but i'm afraid that's a slippery slope. another idea was for her to be more physically active during the day- she's gained weight since moving in and is losing track of day and night, keeps her curtains shut all the time. also thought maybe putting a sign on the door at night that reminds her where she is and encourages her to go back to bed. any other ideas out there?

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The latest- I spoke with the night nurse last week who said mom is getting up and hanging with them, but she's not confused. She knows where she is and that she needs to stay on the floor and not leave the unit. The nurse said "if the director asks me, I'd tell her this (that my mom is not confused." she said she has to write on the report that mom is getting up and walking around,but it's being misinterprested. So, continuing dialogue with the administrator...
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If there's a way to make elderly people sleep more at night without sleeping pills, I want to know what it is. I think it's neigh onto impossible. She wakes up during the night, probably, because she has to go to the bathroom. Then probably forgets why she gets up. The fact that she is WALKING is what makes it so hard. My mom (87) is the same way. But she can't walk unassisted. With the hospital bed rails and raising the head and feet into a somewhat sitting position, there is no WAY she can get out of bed even if she tried. That's a blessing in her case.

Do you mean to tell me that the nursing home isn't locked down at night?? I can't believe it. That's a serious issue, in my opinion. What are they thinking?? I would move her to the memory care floor immediately. If she REALLY doesn't need that floor (her social interaction will be quite different), then, in my opinion, she should be moved to another facility. Anybody can walk in? Anybody can walk out? Ridiculous.

Sleeping pills are a last resort. Seniors can easily over-ride them, and then they're on their feet in a woozy state. Can you spell hip fracture?

This is the nursing home's problem. Tell them to solve it or you're moving your mom. They're coming to YOU with the problem as though there's something YOU can do. If their front doors were secure, they'd merely have to escort her back to bed. Most nursing homes have what they call in the Chicago area "Night Owls" -- at least one staff member whose job it is to get oldsters back in bed after a short social interaction. This isn't an uncommon problem.

I would talk to the nursing manager and ask her exactly what they intend to DO about this problem. It's not yours. It's theirs.
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It is a bit cheaper too. I ask them to walk aunt, and they say they do. She also gained weight. Then I have her go to adult day care a couple days a week to socialize. They do chair exercises, memory games, bingo, etc. I hope she likes it.

Yu may want to see about getting her out a couple days a week for socializing.
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HOw many residents are in this facility? Only reason I ask, is my Aunt was on her own for 44 years, and the got a little paranoid. I placed her in AL with 120 other residents. Too many people for her. she broke her hip and I placed her in a board and care, 6 residents and 2 caretakers around the clock..It is more like a home setting.
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I talked to an old friend of mine whose family owns several successful CCRCs about my situation and she really helped me see things from my mom's and the staff's point of view. One thing she said is that safety is an issue here, that it only takes one wandering to create an emergency. She said that the room move is probably only a bandaid and I should become more familiar with the memory care unit so i can help with the transition. She said buddying my mom up with another ALZ patient could be very positive, that ALZ sufferers tend to seek each other out because they can relate to each other. But the part that really hit me was when she helped me see this from my mom's perspective. She said that right now my mom is trying very hard to do the right thing, say the right thing, fit in where she is. How hard that must be for her? and yet she comes off all cheery. That in a good memory care unit, the pressure is off. she doesn't have to worry about saying the right thing, she will fit in. I decided I need to learn more about what it's like to have ALZ so i can be more empathetic and make the right decisions for my mom, not for me. That has helped me deal a bit more at least temporarily.
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Maybe you can also have a snack or even a certain song every night ( that's the same) so she knows its bedtime? In the morning someone can give her a certain drink like OJ? Like pamstegman mentioned, company always a good idea. I think your sign is also a good idea bailey33. I hope everything works out.. good luck.
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would it be possible for someone to visit after dinner and keep her busy instead of falling asleep after meals? I found if we could keep mom awake after lunch and dinner, she would be ready for bed and sleep through. Mom doesn't have curtains, just blinds, so day is day and night is night. I think the move is a good idea, it will help avoid the lock-down unit.
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