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She is 82 & is in stage one dementia for 1 year now,showing signs of stage 2.

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Mom gets a mild prescribed sleeping pill at night as well as a mild pain pill acetaminophen with a kicker. (Very mild.) The sleeping pill to help her sleep (of course), and the mild pain pill because (doctor said) sometimes dementia patients are uncomfortable and don't really realize it.

That stopped her extremely wakeful nights. Oh!! THAT and stopping Namenda which causes sleep disturbances and hallucinations. AND whose ads say:

"There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease."

Mom still talks in her sleep. But she sleeps the night through now. She suuuure wasn't before.
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janey53, that a good question... I would re-post it as a brand new *question* so you would get more answers :)
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Hey can anyone help me please, I am probably asking this again, but I really need some natural suggestions in having my resident sleep decently in the night even though he has dementia. Anyone have suggestions?
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marci5569, my Dad shadowed my Mom right after he retired from work, and Dad didn't have any memory problems. He just didn't know what to do with him self as he was so use to going to work for the past 45 years. He was so bored. Mom would hand him a vacuum, or a dust rag, and eventually he found things to keep himself buy ;) I couldn't image someone shadowing for months on end. Lot of good advice here.
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OSMIII, I read how your wife wanders. My dad did that until we moved to this roomier home. He is content, finally. We do not have a lot of clutter which makes the areas more spacious. Lots of trees around, too. I cannot understand how difficult the difference would be to have a spouse with this disease since my dad having it is quite trying. I am preparing to continue school classes online or perhaps a vocation part time online. Do you and your wife have any animals? Daddy loves the animals here and looks forward to the interaction with them. Patience is indeed a virtue, isn't it?
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No way I would make that trade!
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My dad lives with me and occasionally "shadows" me. I'm learning to not take it personally because he is not himself. He loves classic movies and programs on Netflix and you're prompted after a period of time so I check on him and we comment about what he is watching. He loves the cats in our home and two dogs in backyard not to mention the birds and squirrels. Also, Netflix has wonderful nature programs! He has no sense of time so Netflix has been the best $9/monthly expenditure I could ask for. Dad's room is large and his bathroom is huge so he can pace pack and forth to his heart's desire. The bath has 4 windows that stay open to the privacy fenced back yard. His bedroom has two windows with window seats separated by built in cabinet/closets. I have heavy curtains on the bottom half of the windows for privacy from neighbors. He comments how he enjoys looking out of top of window closest to his bed because of the tall trees nearby. Great things come in small packages! It has been a challenge to give up my life to take care of my dad, but I'll be grateful later and have savings to help me adjust when the time comes. We eat a lot of organic steel cut oatmeal with walnuts, soy & almond milk instead of dairy. Diet goes a long way to helping him with contentment and me with my fears of failure. On occasion when he is very relaxed and my skin feels like it is crawling because I have no personal space/time I take a Benedryl and get a nap; amazing results!
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jfryhospice. That is right. I am a full time and then some 25-8-367 caregiver to my elderly spouse. I understand the situation. I wrote from that position to illuminate that kind of situation.

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rnt folks, I guess. But them's my sentiments.

Ich kann nicht ander. :)
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The shadowing made me a nervous wreck because I did not get to leave after my shift was over. I agree that we need to be kind and loving but sometimes you need to vent. I would never have snapped at my Mother to stop following me but I could come to this site and vent. Just because shadowing is annoying and we need a break does not make us uncaring caregivers. Please try to understand when others are venting to "get it out" vs. being an abusive caregiver. It is usually quite the opposite. When a caregiver does not get burned out every once in a while I just wonder what drugs they are on.
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*Brain has degenerated, not break.
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It ought not to be a burden to live with someone Shadowing, but it is. Not every moment of caregiving is a blessed holy gift from the Heavens. Sometimes it is gross, nasty, horrifying, scary, annoying, and nonsensical. Anybody who says differently has either not really done caregiving for years on end or is lying.
Or maybe they just got really lucky and had an angel for an elder. Not a lot of us get the angels.

Shadowing doesn't turn off & on or pass like gas. Shadowing is non-stop, incessant, day in, day out, every day, and the day after that, and the day after that until the break has degenerated enough that it stops. I would rather have a teething, colicky infant than a Shadower.
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Caregiver99, I think there's a difference between being a paid caregiver as a "job" vs. living with someone 24/7 and providing care. marci5699 said this is someone she lives with. A paid caregiver can do their job and go home. They get a break. Not true when you live with someone. It's kind of like being a parent of a toddler who follows you everywhere even into the bathroom, and will cry outside the door if you stop them from coming in. You KNOW intellectually that they mean no harm, but dang....after awhile you'd just like a little bit of personal time and space!
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Great ideas! I got a flag the other day from a Yankee game and showed it to her and she asked if she could put it back in the bag it came in i said sure mom but its gonna be hard i cant even do that. She tried for 10 minutes and finally got it. Something soo small could make her happy. Also try and turn around give her a hug and say, i love you mom but i get nervous you might trip, when she gets too close. I do the opposite with my mom i tend to follow her cause i think she is unsteady and i dont want her to fall.
God Bless!
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It ought not to be much or a hardship to have a needy dementia patient follow or accompany you asking questions about a world that does not make sense anymore.

If you are the caregiver, then that is part of the care you give.

Remember the caregiver's creed [actually, The Nurse's Creed]:

To heal, sometimes.
To improve, often.
To comfort, always.

God bless you.

Learn to relax and take it in your stride. Think of the confusion your patient is enduring throughout his life because his mind is failing and do be sympathetic.
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etsy/listing/182156541/custom-made-alzheimers-dementia-activity?ref=related-0 (Click on this link for another example of activity apron.)
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Or just clink directly on the above link for activity apron examples.
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bibswithdignity/Alzheimer_Activity_Apron__Apro/alzheimer_activity_apron__apro.htm (Copy and paste this link for examples of an activity apron. )
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I think the only pix on here are the profile pix so they will come out really tiny. Or, without usign the http:// part give people a link to where your picture is on the web.
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Peachy, I poked around this website. I could not figure it out. I will have to use my imagination and try to make one for my Mom. Thanks for the suggestion.
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My Mom jokes she would like to go to the bathroom by herself.. Dad will follow her up if he's not caught ( and even sometimes when he is. he's crafty). He will sit on the stool in the bathroom while she "goes". (no pun intended).
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How can I post a picture of the Alzheimer's Activity apron? I have the picture, but not the know-how. :(
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Peachy, My Mom needs one of those aprons. Please post a picture!
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Here's some good info on Shadowing: alzheimers.about/od/behaviormanagement/a/Shadowing-And-Alzheimer-S.htm
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Not only was she under foot like a child while in my home, mom would freak completely out if I wasn't directly in her line of sight. I couldn't use the bathroom in my own house without her having a panic attack. Going to work and coming home was an ordeal. She refused to do any kind of simple tasks.

This was one of many factors that led to her living in a senior community that had all the levels of care on one campus. It's good we moved her when we did because she had several significant declines this year and is now in a locked memory care unit there.
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The only action that works for me is to park my wife on a porch chair where she can watch what I am doing and that doesn't last. It is dangerous to visit our bathroom for an extended period as she will walk out of the house and head down the street. I also have found her sitting in one of our cars or in the truck. Yes, just sitting there while I am frightened as to where she disappeared. When the kids were little, younger than four years old, a rope around the waist and tied to a tree worked fairly well. Maybe that is the next step.
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You could also check out the online Alzheimers Store for many items, including activity items keep people occupied.
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The only way that I got space was to leave. My Mom would also follow me around and it would drive me bonkers. It seemed like I always had to be in her line of vision for her to feel safe but it was wearing me down. She went to assisted living 3 weeks ago and our relationship has improved since I am no longer her focus. It is difficult.
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Wow...sorry for the long answer!! But, I have one more suggestion. Online you can find "adult" coloring pages whose themes are not so childlike, e.g. more detailed cars and trucks, sports, mandalas, detailed plants and flowers, Bible stories, copies of Master artists' works (Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh). All are free to print out and use.
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If she has capability, I've used "sorting" types of activities. For example,I had a patient with earlier to mid-stage dementia. I asked him to help me sort through a pile of colored index cards (there were 4 different colors) because "the colors got all mixed in together and I want the same colored cards put together", and asked if he could help me. He did very well with it...and actually exceeded my expectations. The colored index cards had lines on one side, but not on the back. The patient was having problems with a couple of the cards and I couldn't figure out why. I then noticed that the two cards he couldn't seem to "sort" had the lines showing up on them! When I turned the cards over he had no problem placing them in the right color piles! This also provided me with feedback about his level of cognitive functioning.

This same person had been an engineer at one time and liked doing home repairs when he had been able. I got a small plastic box with dividers in it and a variety of nuts, bolts, washers, screws, etc., (nothing too small) and had them in a pile all together. I asked him if he could sort through them and place the ones that were alike into a divider in the tray. Again, he amazed me with his ability to understand what I was asking, and he was able to accurately sort through each type of item and place them in separate compartments in the plastic box! I've also seen people use large colored beads, little "pom-pom" "balls of yarn of different colors, large buttons, etc. Also sorting by "large" and "small". Some people use muffin/cupcake tins as their "container" for sorting. I try to find something the person may have had an interest in at one time. ****One does need to be aware of whether the person may be at the stage where they might put an item in their mouth and choke on it. In later stage dementia, our volunteers made little square "fabric" books. Various colors and textures of fabric were cut in the same size of squares. They were then bound together on one side to make a "book".

Many people with later stage dementia like the different tactile/touch stimulation. (This is one reason why you'll see some people with dementia rub their hands together rapidly.) I was surprised one day when one of my patients pointed to a pretty flower print fabric in a fabric book and said "blouse". So, I started using the fabric books with some patients asking them what they would use a certain fabric for, or say "I think I want to make a dress. Which material do you think I should use?" Or, "Which color do you like best?"

Just like with the one suggestion of having someone fold towels, etc. I had one patient who could be easily entertained with a cloth place-mat. She would role it up in various ways , un-roll it, and start all over again. This went on for about an hour.

I think part of the challenge with dementia is that one's capacity to make sense of one's world becomes so compromised. The ability to think through what needs to be done next, or remember where something is, is gone. So, the person follows someone around whom they are most attached to and/or trusts. They need that person to help them organize and navigate their way through their now confusing day to day world. I know I'd stick pretty close to my "source" of food, water, bathroom, if I couldn't remember how to get them for myself!
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Excellent useful answers. My dad watches tv all day or sleeps. He used to love people and were very social but now he does nothing. I should try puzzles too.
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