My Mother (94) is afraid to sleep alone. What do I do? - AgingCare.com

My Mother (94) is afraid to sleep alone. What do I do?

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Is this something new? Is she recently widowed?
When my dad died mom found it helpful to sleep with a big pillow on his side of the bed so she didn't feel that empty space in her sleep. It also helped to have new locks put on all the doors.
If that isn't the problem then I suggest you treat it the same way you would with a small child. Try to figure out exactly what it is she fears and address the issue. If you can't pinpoint it or reassure her then leave on a nightlight and make sure she knows she can contact you easily (use a baby monitor or an alarm pendant depending on your living arrangements). And lots of older folks like to have a teddy bear or other friend to keep them company at night, my mom has one :)
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Do you have a pet dog that would enjoy sleeping on the bed?
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She needs anti anxiety /antidepressant meds. Call her doctor today.
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The nightlight is a good suggestion. Also, a stuffed animal may be comforting. Start out with you and the stuffed animal, and as she gets used to having it around, absent yourself once she's asleep. Maybe she will eventually need only the toy.
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When I was a young mother in my 20's my husband was transferred to the midnight shift. I was afraid alone at night. I heard every noise outside, even trees brushing against the house. This was 1969 and my husband bought a small tv for the bedroom. I would watch tv and fall asleep. We put a timer on it so it didn't stay on all night. It worked for me. In fact I'm 67 now and have been a widow since 1984. I still have to have the tv on at night.
I know the situation is different, but, my point is a distraction may help. Or even a radio.
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Regarding bedrails- this discussion often comes up with the people I work with. Over the last 30 years several hundred people have died or been injured with "bedrails" but it is impossible to count the thousands of injuries/lives they may have saved over those years. Part of the problem is there are no safety standards for home bedrails- the best example was one I saw on the internet- "rated for 250#" it had a shipping weight of 2.5#- how is that possible? Be careful of the cheap wobbly items on the market. In most cases a person doesn't roll out of bed during sleeping- the fall occurs during the process of getting in/out of bed. Having rails that are sturdy enough to aid in repositioning and to lean on in bed transfers is what a person should be considering. Very happy to get involved in any mobility related discussions.
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oh the poor woman. I also give my Mom 3mg of melatonin or half of that and sometimes she sleeps much better. I stay and hold her hand, rub her head and tell her stories of what a great cook she is (was) and the best mother, etc, She loves it, smiles and falls asleep. Its just like a baby but no tough love here, they need you. We all want someone when we dont feel well, or are afraid, its human nature.
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I used to work nights and sleep days, then I moved to a house on a busy street where I switched to workings days. I had a fan between me and the street, the noise masked the outside sounds. You can also purchase a noisemaker that sounds like a fan without the breeze. It really helped me.
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My mom does not want to be alone either. She is especially attached to me & gets upset if I am away overnight on occasion in spite of another sister or niece staying with her. Anti anxiety meds seem to make her mind be fuzzier than usual the next day. She thinks people on TV can see her & is asking to turn TV off at times. She is in a hospital bed in her living room & for last year I have slept on sofa. There is less anxiety for both of us doing it this way! I hope you find what will keep you both safe & happy. Someone suggested Melotolin and I plan to give that a try. I used to get upset & frustrated quite a bit over being 24/7 caretaker but found once I surrendered to the situation I am handling it all much better. I pray you find your answer! This web site has been valuable to me.
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a lot of good suggestions but another one is don't just jump to giving drugs to calm/help sleep, this could create another whole issue. what if she falls due to being too groggy, I would try something more natural like melatonin or the music. and pets are nice but is she capable of taking care of them (feeding, changing litter box or letting animal out to go (and then would she remember to bring them in, is the yard fenced in so they can't get out).
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