No TV at night. Am I being selfish?

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My husband has some kind of dementia - no real diagnosis yet along with a movement disorder and has arthritis all of which keeps him up a lot at night. He sleeps and naps a lot during the day.

I am his primary caregiver and our financial situation is such that I have to work full time, so he is home alone during the day, I am very fortunate that I work just a few minutes away so I am able to go home at lunch to check on him and help him with dressing etc - he spends most of the morning sleeping and the remainder of the day in his lift chair watching tv.

Our home is small and I sleep with my bedroom door open so I can hear him when he calls me for help getting in or out of the bed, or if God forbid he falls. He gets up and down all night long and likes to go to the den sit in his chair and watch tv. I am a light sleeper and even though he is fairly quiet, it wakes me up.
A couple of weeks ago I came down with a stomach virus and was sick for 3 or 4 days and I am never sick, I felt like a big part of getting sick was that I have not been getting enough sleep.
So to help me get a little more sleep and to encourage him to sleep more during the night, I have said that the tv needs to be off between midnight and 7:00 am in the morning, which is when I sleep. He is not happy at all with this - and feels like I am being mean to him and we struggle with it almost every night, I am trying to stick to my guns, but he is wearing me down.
Before this illness - Earl had a bigger than life personality and while he always liked to get his own way - we were usually able to talk things through and come up with some kind of solution. He is now very resentful of any decision that I make - be it the TV or anything else.

Am I being unreasonable in saying no TV at night?

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I don't believe you are being selfish at all. My sister and I have been caring for Mom for 3 months now. Debra was able to keep her job in an on-call capacity but I had to give mine up as I live in a different state. The one thing we have learned along the way is regardless of the situation the caregiver MUST but themselves first. If you don't take care of you, you might not be able to be as productive as you need. It's not quite the same thing but maybe switch to a radio? Good luck and God bless you.
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I'm going to unsubscribe. I can see where some people need help but outside of legal advice, I see so many questions like this that have common sense resolutions, i seriously doubt how some questioners manage in life. Unfortunately i have given much more advice here than i ever received.
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Sleeping pills.
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Ear plugs. End of problem.
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I truly know what it is like not to have sleep and how badly it is needed. My mother has moderate+ dementia and has gone on some wild tangents where she is not sleeping and roams the halls and is in my bedroom flipping on the lights looking for the dog to feed it and it is asleep under my bed. This goes into wild screaming tantrums and she did this for two weeks straight and we all thought we were going to literally LOSE OUR MINDS over it!!! So I do know how important sleep is.

It sounds like your husband sleeps in a different room than you do and if that is so, then I wonder why you don't just put a small tv in his room with earphones. Then he is not walking around into another room and if he remembers enough to use the earphones, he shouldn't be a problem. Although the best laid plans are bound to go astray no matter what you do.

You need to hear him or I would say get one of those noise machines where you can hear "white noise, or rain, or ocean waves etc. then it might help to mask a bit of his moving around.

The best thing for him would be to be able to go to a Senior Day Care where he is up in the morning and doing activities during the day so he....like you, would be tired at night and actually sleep. Have you asked the doctor for a sleeping pill for him? If he got enough sleep at night, then maybe he would get up earlier and not sleep til noon. He is like a baby who has his days and nights mixed up. This does happen easily to us all when we no longer work. Would Medicaid help to pay for in home care? If so, you might be able to find someone to come in and work with him during the day while you work.

Best Wishes to You Both!!!!
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Could you let him stay with his kids for a while? Or take an extended vacation and let them move in so they can experience him as he really is?

Moxie wrote you a wonderful blueprint for taking care of YOURSELF in all of this. Your wants and needs are as important as your husband's are. You need to make sure you take care of yourself. Good luck and keep us posted.
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You can get wireless tv headphones at Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Best Buy, etc. get them.
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Oh gosh, what a terrible situation. Have you talked to an eldercare attorney about the situation? You are going to need medical and financial POA's or - his kids will need these. Yes, you may be right this has been caused by his alcoholism. It is all just so terribly unfortunate and you really don't need his adult children working against you. Being the second (or third, etc.) wife really sucks. Often, you wind up being a blank where the first wife once was, disregarded by your spouse's children, even if the first wife was an absolutely awful person. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, my mother was in the same stage you are describing your husband as being in - late stage 5, early stage 6, two years ago. Her disease has progressed rapidly and she has lost most of her ability to speak. She has become doubly incontinent in the past 2 weeks and now is clearly transitioning to stage 7 - the final stage. In a short matter of time, she will become bedridden and I will have to call in hospice. My dad is having trouble processing this. They have been married 68 years and known each other since mom was 4 and dad was 5 years old. Dad has told me that it seems unreal to him that mom has become what she is now. Of course, he is devastated that she is no longer the person she was. Really, dad and I lost her 2 years ago. I'm not even sure she knows who any of us are now and she's also an elopement risk - which is why I have 24x7 caregivers in the house with my parents. There is no telling how fast or slow your husband's dementia will progress. It's highly individual. He is going to need 24x7 care no matter how you slice it or what happens and he's borderline in need of this type of care now. One way to get this care is through Medicaid, another is through the VA, if he was ever in the military. But there is your future to consider, which is why I think you need the advice of an eldercare attorney. You can't work forever and you will need to have some money to live off of for yourself. Your cannot allow your husband's needs to destroy your own financial security or your life, no matter how much you love him.

This may help you figure out what stage of dementia your husband is actually in. The stages overlap, but whatever behaviors from the latest stage listed are apparent indicate the actual stage the patient is in:
http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp

In addition to the Dept. of Aged, I would suggest you contact your local Alzheimer's chapter.

I do wish you the very best and I'm so deeply sorry about what you are going through. This disease is absolutely awful like a nightmare that you can't wake up from and it is not helpful what his children are doing to him ...and you. They should be ashamed.
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Thank you all so much for the wealth of ideas and comments - so very helpful, to clarify a couple of questions -
It is not so much the noise of the tv that keeps me awake - more the fact that he is up and wandering around and will possibly fall or need me - the TV seems to stimulate him and keep him up - if it is turned off - he has no choice but to eat a snack and go back to bed and will usually sleep for another 2 or 3 hours, which is like a long winters nap for me. So far he has not ever wandered outside but of course I never know what tomorrow may bring.
He refuses to wear the med i alert device that I got for him, so that is useless, I doubt that he would use headphones, but I am going to try putting a tv in his bedroom with headphones - perhaps that would help.
He does not take any sleep aids, I, the sleep therapist we saw and his neurologist all would like him to take some Melatonin, but his children refuse to let me give him Melatonin.
It is a complicated situation, they are my stepchildren and are in denial that he has any kind of dementia, refuse to listen to anything the doctors say, refuse to admit that he was an alcoholic - I am convinced his extreme abuse of alcohol is what has done much of this to him. They are looking for the magic pill or fix that can bring Dad back - and while we have an ok relationship because I cater to them because I think it is very important that they are in his life right now, they resent me for accepting the fact that he indeed has dementia and is most likely in the moderate to severe phase of it.
He has had many many tests all which indicate dementia, but no definitive diagnois
his movement disorder neurologist has requested that he take a neuropsychology test that will further determine what dementia we are dealing with - they are leaning towards frontotemporal or lewy body along with alcoholic dementia. The kids of course don't want the test done, cause they don't want to know, they would rather think that he has depression, or lyme disease or that one of the best neurologists in Houston doesn't know what she is doing. That said, I have little help or support,
they do take him to some doctors appts and take him out to lunch on Saturdays but that is normally a 2 hour session of being critical of me and I get him back with a "I don't have to do anything you say", (like take his meds - help to dress himself - etc) attitude that lasts for a couple of days, they of course are upset at me for the no tv rule and tell him that he can watch tv all night if he wants.
He does not read - and has lost the ability to really use any electronic devices, I even had to have an old fashioned phone with handset installed next to his chair because he could not/would not use a remote phone. If I or the kids would call him during the day to check on him, he would get himself up and go the to handset phone in the office to call us back as he could never get there quick enough to answer it.
I am going to contact the Harris County Dept of Aged and see what help that I can get - and keep on plugging - hopefully I will get enough sleep to keep on going.
Thank you all for such wonderful input.
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If he has a kindle, get a subscription to Amazon Prime where he can watch movies and tv shows on it. Then get him comfortable ear plugs and that might solve the noise problem. I do this as to not disturb my sleeping parents when I want to stay up later than they do. It may even lull him to sleep if he's comfortable enough.
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