I have asked quiet a few questions dealing with my Mom's dementia in the last little while. She was being up and average of 2 to 3 hrs. a day for at least 2 months. Now for the past month she gets up earlier and stays up later, just out of the wild blue! She picks up the daily newspaper on the couch when she sets down in her chair, and never puts it down all day. She reads the same page and the same story continuous. Yesterday, she had the county paper with a couple pics of convicts and she stared at them all day! Today, it is a coffin draped with the American flag where a law officer is being buried! Is she using this as a cover up to "peep" out from behind it, to see every move I make (I am not allowed out of her sight)? But sometimes I notice she isn't even paying attention, just staring at the paper. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? I think I am going to go stark raving crazy before any of the conditions around our home ever changes for the better. HELP! Any advice?
As for the meds. A good idea might be to write down all the meds and the reason she takes them. Also, if possible, crush them up and mix them into foods. Applesauce, ice cream, pudding, yogurt. I did that for awhile when my Gma didn't want to take her meds.
What a journey!
My father used to work crossword puzzles. Every day he would do the one in the newspaper. In his last months of life, he couldn't work the puzzles as well, but still he would sit with his pen in hand over the puzzle. It is probably because it was familiar to him and he wasn't ready to give up working puzzles just yet.
It would generate conversations into gardening which she loved as well as cooking and home decorating. I had saved many of my old copies, so on many days, they were a life saver and she truly enjoyed them.
And as Jeanne mentioned, if she wanted to watch you - she just plain would, right? Maybe not, but that is what my MIL did - she was always watching us - it was a challenge to deal with, to say the least. Take care.
My husband used to "read" the same piece of paper for long periods of time. It could be anything handy -- the newspaper, a piece of junk mail advertising eye glasses, a recipe, a magazine cover. He did not do this day after day -- just periodically. I took it as a sign he was having a "bad day" cognitively and tried to keep everything easy for him. (In the very early days of his dementia he would sometimes "read" the piece of paper upside down. Definitely a bad day.)
It might be more pleasant for Mom if you handed her a magazine with fun pictures, such as the one about birds or another nature magazine. That might be nicer than staring at convict's pictures. But it really might not matter. She may not be taking in what she is seeing in any case.
I suppose this could be a cover for watching you, but it doesn't sound like it. If she wanted to watch you, wouldn't she just do it?
The disease is what it is. No behavior, no matter how strange, is really surprising.
Feel free to keep popping on here to compare notes with other caregivers.