New behavior: undiagnosed fidgeting all night long. Is this common?

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My mom is fidgeting and searching for things all night long. Hardly sleeps at night. Also is distressed and cries ...this is all the time but worse at night. Also, she is unable to pack when she comes to visit. She sets suitcases aside and prefers to put everything in trash bags. Almost like a homeless person. The doc gave her medicine for memory, though she’s still undiagnosed. Well we believe she took too many pills and had hallucinations and get horrible for days. She’s now stopped the meds. I wrote a while back on these boards because she was losing it at Christmas time. It was the worst holiday ever. Cried, accused, made scenes. We then thought it was depression because she was slightly better for a short while. She’s difficult and secretive and does have some addiction issues which make her hesitant to go to the doctor. She does not live with me, but may have to very soon. Not even sure it’s dementia..though her sister passed away from it this last year. Her hygiene is horrible, she hardly eats and do any clean up after herself. I just need to take over and protect her and care for her. Anyway....night time fidgeting...is this common?

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Thank you both so much!

I say fidgeting, but I guess I mean that she’s constantly digging through bags and looking for things. She’s become a hoarder, so it’s an absolute mess wherever she goes. She took everything out of her cosmetic bag, said she didn’t know what to do with the bag and put it into a trash bag. She eventually looked at the trash bags where she packed her things to come visit and said to my sister “this is a problem, isn’t it?”. They had a discusssion and I’ll have to follow up with how that went.

She had psychological evaluation . I was there for the intake and that was great. My mom met with a psych and I didn’t go into the room. She came out in tears and said he was sarcastic and argumentative. He basically said (her words) she’s fine and nothing is wrong with her and that needs to get out more and get involved . I believe he might’ve discussed her past abuse of Norco. I think he was more into discussing that than anything. Not sure. It just didn’t go well and that’s a side issue at this point.

She handles her own medicine right now and doesn’t manage it or her diabetes well. She ended up in the hospital where she was so embarrassing. Rude and kind of obnoxious. She never ever would’ve behaved this way before.

I guess I’m just venting here. Really fee at a loss.

Honestly....this is going to be a lot of work emotionally to have her here. She will be mean and hurtful and needy. I know I need to be a good child and love her and care for her. Clearly, I’m selfish. Ugh. Time to grow up at 50 I guess.

As far as the memory medicine...anyone have good or bad experience with it?
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Reply to Sarahk60
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"Not even sure it’s dementia..though her sister passed away from it this last year." Maybe your Mom is severely depressed because her sister passed away from a disease that she (you Mom) can/might develop. Has your Mom had a Psychological evaluation by a Geriatric Psychologist or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner?

Jeanne has some good suggestions so I will not repeat them here. Your Mom does need to see a doctor and have some lab work done. Jeanne is correct that vitamin deficiencies can affect a person's mood and behavior. I had very low Vitamin B and Vitamin D blood levels in January 2018 and I could barely get out of bed. After 6 months of B-12 shots and taking Vitamin D capsules, I feel like a different person and have a lot more energy and my mood is better.

My Mom (age 87) went from being able to do all of her ADLs by herself to being unable to any ADLs in May 2017 after her younger brother (age 83) died in March 2017 and her older sister (age 91) died in April 2017. There were other factors that were involved, but these two deaths were the "last straw" and Mom just could NOT cope anymore with all of the losses that she had experienced the past 2-3 years. She was diagnosed with Major Depression with Delusions and Mild Dementia and is now in a Memory Care Unit at the local nursing home. She is getting better care than any that I could have given her at home.

Have your Mom see the Doctor again and if he has not checked your Mom's thyroid blood levels, or vitamin boodle levels, then please ask him to check those. Sometimes stress will alter the body's ability to process or use medications "properly".

"She does not live with me, but may have to very soon." You need to start NOW / TODAY to prepare for your Mom to live with you. Is your house "handicap accessible"? If not, then you need to do some remodeling so that you can accommodate your Mom as her physical and mental abilities decline in the future. Talk with your family members (husband and children) and discuss what they can expect when your Mom comes to live with you and discuss possible solutions now. That way you can be semi-prepared for her arrival. The future for you and your Mom and your family is going to be an interesting one with lots of frustrations and emotions. Please feel free to vent about what is happening on this forum. We are ALL "Fixers" and we LOVE to give advice and suggestions. :)
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Reply to DeeAnna
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Fidgeting, night or day, is common in dementia, but isn't exclusive to dementia, so I'm not sure that narrows down the possible diagnoses.

My mother loved keeping her hands busy folding small towels when she visited me. When she was in the nursing home it was interesting to me that residents who were restless were often given a small pile of small towels to fold! Theirs were white. I brought Mom a small basket of colored washcloths with different textures to keep in her room, and aides would hand that to her.

My mother also liked matching socks. It kept her hands busy and she calmed down a bit with an activity like this.

You can actually buy "fidget toys" for people with dementia. My mom preferred thinking she was doing something useful, but obviously some people enjoy these purchased items or the companies would go out of business!

Many parents don't want to go to the doctor for one reason or another. Use therapeutic fibs if you have to, but try to get her in. Before the appointment make a list of behaviors that concern you, for the doctor. Also make sure the doctor has a complete list of every med Mom takes, including OTC meds.

Might this work? "Mom, did you know that some kinds of vitamin deficiencies can make people feel scared and cry a lot? Let's ask the doctor to order some lab work and see if you have any deficiencies"? Other here can make suggestions that worked for them to get their parents to the doctor.

You do need to take over and protect your dear mother from self-neglect and harmful behaviors. Thank goodness she has you! But realize that taking over may or may not mean bringing her into your home.

First, try to get a handle on a diagnosis. Then come back and start a new thread about options for places Mom could be cared for, under your supervision.
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