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My Mom’s sleep issues are really inconsistent. Some nights she does well however most nights she is up a lot, if not the entire night. She has hallucinations of people and children being in her house or things coming down from the ceiling or that her house is filling with water and she wants to go outside. On the nights when she up all night she falls fast asleep at 6am. My brothers are her caregivers and have most recently tried prescription sleeping pills and melatonin. They don’t seem to have any effect. They are obviously desperate for some sort of help but don’t know where to turn. The neurologist said aside from the sleeping pill and the antipsychotics which didn’t help, there is nothing else he can do. I’m wondering if these behaviors are simply dementia behaviors and there’s not much that can be done. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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When Mom went into Memory Care she was having restless nights, not sleeping, trying to get out of bed, etc. Her new facility has a policy of keeping MC residents out of their rooms, no personal TV in their rooms, and multiple daily activities to keep them engaged and stimulated. The goal is to keep them awake and active so they are tired and sleep better at night. They also took Mom off os several anti-anxiety drugs the previous facility were giving her to keep her quiet.
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Reply to Frances73
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Imho, she needs to be under the care of a geriatric psychiatrist. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Yes, these are dementia behaviors. Aside from making sure to keep mom up during the day, the medications are the only ones to try for sleep. If she is at the point of having problems discerning day from night, it may be time to hire a sitter to be with her during the night so others can sleep.
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Reply to Taarna
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My Papa had really high anxiety, popping up to fix a nonexistent crease in his cushion, running to the bathroom after just getting back, up and down all night - his doctor switched him from Xanax to Trazadone. It worked wonders. He slept better, ate better, and the anxiety behaviors stopped. I’ve read positive remarks on other forums also. Something to check out maybe.
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Reply to BeckyT
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We had her tested for infections and there are none. I was actually really disappointed when I got the results.
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Reply to lcrawford
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Lcrawford, I'm sorry to hear about your mom's problems. Not knowing exactly what medications were tried, Seroquel really helped my mom with her sleep issues, but not so much with the hallucinations. When her arthritis pain got so bad that nothing but morphine seemed to help, we tried CBD oil and it worked. It worked not only with the pain but with her anxiety and she's off Seroquel now with only 20 mg of CBD a day. She still sees people but the anxiety is gone.

Find a geriatrician...this doctor doesn't sound very willing to think outside the box.
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Reply to patiencewithaP
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Have you tried anti-anxiety medicine? That helped my mom when she was having upsetting hallucinations that kept her awake.
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Reply to Cynthiasdaughtr
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cye123 Feb 3, 2021
what type of medication was given to your mom to help, as there are different types? I'd like to ask my Dr. about it.
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My father who was diagnosed with vascular dementia sleeps only a couple of hours a night and sleeps a lot during the day. I think the melatonin may help him get a little more rest at night but not by much. He refuses to try any type of Med for dementia and refuses to go back to the doctor who diagnosed him. Hopefully his new primary doctor will have some solutions. Hoping you find something that works too.
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Reply to Martz06
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My husband sleeps for several hours, then wakes up thinking it's a new day. None of the prescribed medicines (we tried about 4 different ones) did any good. I have found giving him 10mg of Melatonin along with 400 mg of Magnesium, washed down with Sleepy Time tea (Celestial Seasonings makes it) he will sleep for about 6 hours. It doesn't make him so groggy that he can't get up to go to the bathroom.
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Reply to Maple3044
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There maybe nothing else that he can do, but there is something that can be done. Psychotic episodes are difficult to resolve. My wife spent 12 days in a psychiatric hospital and afterwards never exhibited those episodes again. During those 12 days, the doctors fine tuned her meds until they found the right med or combination of meds to correct the problem. So don't give up. I concur with Barb's suggestion to find a geriatric psychiatrist.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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I would try to find a geriatric psychiatrist who has a better answer than "there is nothing we can do". Psych medication is an art, not a science.

Has she been tested for a UTI?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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disgustedtoo Jan 31, 2021
"Has she been tested for a UTI?"

This is especially true if this is relatively new behavior. UTIs can present with odd behavior. Please go with a culture test AND get a blood test at the same time. These can rule out infections (non-UTIs will increase WBC) and potential imbalances in electrolytes, etc.

If no infection or imbalance, take sjplegacy's advice. It stinks to have to have her spend so many days away, but it gives them time to find the right solution. Per your profile, she's also resistant to taking showers, meds, etc, so be sure to mention those behaviors as well. Perhaps they can find the right combination of medication to ease her nighttime woes AND make her less combative during the day as well. If they resolve the sleep issues, it might just make her more pleasant during the day by default too! We all need a good solid number of hours of sleep/night to get through the day!

It can be SO draining to have to deal with these battles every day, and worse for your brothers if this impacts their sleep too!
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