My 89 year old mom is waking up middle of night, telling my dad (who is 90) that she is leaving him. Does anyone know what to do in this situation?

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She says she will sleep in car if she has to. Anger not my mother at all. My dad treats her with kid gloves she does have dementia. Does anyone know what to do in this situation? They do see a geriatric Doctor. I'm thinking I should call today. Not sure if there is medication for this. I don't want her "out of it". My dad needs sleep and of course it breaks his heart. She doesn't remember any of it in the morning I tell him it's not her. Ugh so sad. Thanks for any advice you might have

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How very, very sad. And, unfortunately not that unusual. Kid gloves are often necessary tools for caregivers of persons with dementia.

Dad should definitely describe Mom's behavior to their doctor, in detail. It is possible there could be some medication that would help her sleep through the night.

How do these episodes play out when she wakes up? Does she try to go out to the car? Does she calm down and go back to sleep? Do they argue? Does the kid glove treatment go something like this? "Sweetheart, I am so sorry to see you so upset right now. We need to talk about this, but let's wait until morning when we can both think better." ?

Would sleeping in separate bedrooms be feasible?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Have your mom tested for a UTI. An infection can cause great distress. Simple test and antibiotic will clear.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Katsue, such a sad situation. Your poor dad. First, perhaps some education on the stages and behaviors of dementia. There is a wealth of information on this site that you both could read. Her doctor can also be of help. At least, she should be tested for a urinary tract infection (UTI) as that can exacerbate the behaviors.

Most people with dementia suffer from delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. Long buried feelings come to the surface and rear their ugly beads. As caregivers, sometimes it’s very difficult to understand where all this is coming from. Something that happened to them in the past, or just a creation formed in their broken brain. I still wonder about some of the stuff my mom said when she was in her facility. Was is based in truth or just part of her dementia?

It concerns me that Mom is threatening to leave and “go sleep in the car”. Do they live on their own? Could Dad physically prevent her from leaving if she chose to? People with dementia can find a super strength somewhere and I fear she might push him down to get out. And, then if she got outside, could she find the car? Forgetting these incidents is very common as well. Mom may suffer from “sundowning”. They become very agitated at night and often act out.

There are many anxiety medications for people with dementia. Some new ones I’ve read about here seem to work really well. All of them don’t necessarily put people in the Twilight Zone.

Finally, if they are living on their own, you may want to consider a facility, even just for Mom. As this goes on and on, Dad’s health will decline due to no sleep and stress. Or, at the least, home health care Medicare will pay for Home Health with a doctor’s prescription but Assisted Living is pretty much self-pay. Have an honest talk with Dad about things not being able to continue this way. Good luck and keep us updated on how things are going.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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