How do I help my mom know when it is time to get up in the morning? - AgingCare.com

How do I help my mom know when it is time to get up in the morning?

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My mom, who has moderate dementia, has started getting up, occasionally, in the middle of the night, thinking it is morning. I have placed a card with 7:00 printed on it, so she can see the 7 and compare it with the clock in her room. I have suggested she not get up unless her clock has a 7 as the first number. This seems to be beyond her comprehension and the fact that it is dark outside during the night means nothing to her. Does anyone have a suggestion how I can help her with this? Thank you.

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There is a children's clock that might work. It shows a Moon when you should be sleeping (night time hours) and a Sun when time to get up (daylight hours). Not sure if it projects on the wall or not.

People tell kids when the Moon is showing stay in bed. Once the Sun is showing you can get up. Just a thought!
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Danna, I really don't know if anything will help with that. My mom can be looking at the clock and can tell me what time it is, but then either thinks it's PM instead of AM or someone has been "messing with the time". She really doesn't care that other people are sleeping, she just knows that she is awake, dressed and ready to go home (always ready to go home). It seems she no longer has the mental ability to understand time and date. Since she really doesn't care about other people at this point, she just calls people until someone answers the phone. This is tough, but I really don't have any good advice for you.
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Oh boy, do I remember those days! "Honey, it is 3:15 am. It is not time to get up yet. Come back to bed, please!"

I like Nancy's idea of a talking watch, IF your mother would remember to consult it. (My husband would not have, at the time this was a problem.)

I know what a drain it is to be awakened in the middle of the night, but if it is only happening occasionally, maybe just gently getting her back to bed is the best you can do. If it becomes more frequent, talk to her doctor about it.

Good luck!
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Oh boy, with dementia their internal clock is all messed up I know. What about an alarm clock that will actually go off at 7am? I got my mother-in-law who has macular degeneration and can't read her wrist watch anymore, a talking watch. She also has dementia, but she knows that in the middle of the night she can just push a button and it will tell her what time it is. Even though your mom can still see, she wouldn't have to wake herself up totally to look at her clock, to know it's too early to get up.
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