Two questions: How do I get my mom to sleep at night? She is literally awake all night and maybe goes to sleep around 5:30am and sleeps til 1. She doesn’t live with me (yet) , but I do call her every morning to wake her. She has tried different sleeping meds (does have addictions issues) and nothing is working. She wakes up every single day, exhausted and sick feeling. What can be done? It’s got to stop.

Second it common for people with Alzheimer’s to seem totally fine (kind of a version of their old selves) and then confused or have strange/exaggerated reactions? Sometimes I can’t tell what’s Alzheimer’s or what’s her just being difficult (which can kind of be her old self) . She also tends to be very confused (sometimes for hours) upon waking. She was talking about an event that never happened...for hours...then stopped mentioning it...and later briefly said she was dreaming about the event...and suddenly got quiet.

I'm more familiar with what I’ve seen/heard of Alzheimer’s in books and movies...where a person may not recognize family...she’s not at that point....I just have no idea how to process this day to day confusion, depression, etc. She is on the maximum does of everything.

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My mom was similar. Mistook her dreams for reality lot. After a while I just went along with it.

A lot of sleep meds cause excitability in seniors. I would rule this out first.
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?! She's on the maximum dose of what? What addiction issues?

It may be that what she's taking explains as much, or possibly a lot more, about her confusion and muddled thinking as dementia does. Do you have one doctor - a PCP or geriatrician, for example - who has complete oversight of her routine prescriptions?

Here is the key message to bear in mind when you are trying to understand what is going on with her: "when you've met one person with dementia, you've met one person with dementia."

Wider reading, films, documentaries and tv programmes do help in understanding the issues, but nothing can tell you anything for sure about your own loved one - they just highlight what to look out for.
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Dear Sarah, have you had a look at all the articles on ‘Sleep’ on Care Topics? Click on the right hand side of the screen, then scroll down. Does anything help, or suggest more targeted questions?

Do you need to check the ‘maximum doses of everything’? Meds can solve a lot of problems, but also cause a lot of them too.

Regarding ALZ, I’d check this site and its links for information. I’ve been present for a couple of deaths, and neither of them were anything like a movie (or BBC) death.

Come back again when you have more questions from real people who have lived it. Yours, Margaret.
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