He is lucky to eat 1,200 calories a day! He also sleeps a considerable part of the day and is awake a lot at night. He uses a walker and I sleep in the same room so I can hear when he is up, needs help in the bath room, etc. I don't get much sleep. To add to this he will talk and joke with others, but rarely speaks to me. I try and encourage him to talk to me, he will often only grunt or gesture to me! I am trying to get some respite for myself. I will see our elder care lawyer in May, as we don't qualify for Medicaid and I'm getting burnt out and becoming short with him more often!

I've come to the conclusion that sleep is better than food for health. You need to get more sleep and one way would be to move to another room. Do you have that option? Also, I highly recommend that you work on establishing a better routine.

I don't know how agreeable your husband is, - you say he is dismissive of you - but this is what I have done with my mother and it's made things much better.

(The only "meds" my mother takes is a thyroid pill, Milk of Magnesia for bowel movements, and a CBD gummy for calm.)

My mother was doing the 24-hour up-and-down routine, basically setting the schedule that I just went along with, because I thought well....she has dementia so this is how it is. Wrong. It came down to what is best for BOTH of us - for her to have the best care and for me to survive.

If my mother isn't already up for the day by 11 am, I get her up. If she doesn't want to get up too bad - it's time. This a dictatorship, not a democracy.
Then we go to the kitchen where she stays until bedtime around 6/6:30 pm when I've had enough.

During this time in the kitchen, she eats and drinks thereby getting enough calories and water. I fix her what she likes - toast, bacon, apple slices, ice cream, bananas, sandwiches, chips. It's pretty much the same thing every day but she eats quite a bit. I also hand her the water bottle during the day and she'll take a drink.

Being up also keeps her lungs clear.

During those afternoon hours when she is up, I have the sitter come in for a couple of hours so I can get out and run errands or cut the grass or just take a walk.

When she says she wants to go to bed, I tell her that we will go to bed at bedtime and it's not bedtime yet.

Before bed I give her one CBD gummy (no THC).
She will typically sleep until 4 or 5 am. If she does get up, it's only one time until morning when she will begin a waking cycle.

Maybe something here will give you some ideas about how to get a routine established with you and your husband so you can have a better living situation and get some sleep.

Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to southiebella
NeedHelpWithMom May 5, 2023
Oh my gosh, I craved sleep when I was a full time caregiver for my mom. Took care of her in my home for 14 years. She lived to be 95.
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My dH was still losing weight a year after he stopped bike riding 50 + miles.
He was complaining of weakness, and his b/p and pulse was spiking.

He has a touch of OCD and anxiety. You can actually use that for your loved one, on his behalf.

I learned over time, that if I cooked eggs, and he initially said no, he would want the eggs after I was done cooking mine. So I cooked enough for him. He ate.

Not wanting to waste food, I would leave 1/2 sandwich on my plate, and ask him to put it away for me in the fridge. He ate.

I left food out. He ate while putting it away. Often, there was none left to put away.

He has never refused a smoothie, so if I make it and put it in his favorite cup with a straw, he drinks it.

If he is expected to arrive home, and should be hungry, I put his food on a dish with a lid, and disappear. This prevents the long wait of prepping together, waiting to eat. He eats.

Meantime, I am on a break in the back, eating my lunch in peace.

His weight has stopped dropping, and his doctor declared him physically fit
this month.

I found that asking does not work with my guy. Leaving food for him to serve himself does not work. There are work-arounds. But I need to be aware.
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Reply to Sendhelp

Your profile says that you are a retired nurse. Many nurses don’t want to be a caregiver outside of work. I totally understand that. Been there, done that! Am I right?

Often, people take for granted the person who is caring for them. Find others to engage in a conversation with. Talk to us. We will listen. Phone a friend to talk.

My mother barely ate. I did start serving her food on small plates because she would complain that she couldn’t eat a lot in one sitting. Try that. I also made her smoothies. She liked those. Older people start losing their appetite. Mom was tiny!

I really hope that you can find some relief soon. Take care.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

My mrs. Was the same, and it came and went. She hated going to rehab and it depressed her for a month or two before she was herself again.

the person declining knows very well they are, and I experienced both mr and mrs riding the roller coaster of acceptance. It’s hard. Really hard for the caregivers.

get some help. You’ll get some sleep and some one to share the burden and talk to. You need it.

just remember to lock up all sentimental and valuables and get nanny cams. It goes with the territory. God bless
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Lizhappens

My mom's doctor prescribed mirtazapine to help her sleep at night, it worked for her and also seemed to give her more clarity during the day. The increased appetite side effect was a nice bonus.
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Reply to cwillie
Sendhelp May 5, 2023
aka in the U.S. called Remeron, an antideppressant.
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As we get older our taster changes. My daddy would not eat the same foods as he would when I was growing up. he wanted salt on everything because that is all he could taste. Also, vitamins may help - ask his doctor first as to not conflict with his meds. Also, try keeping him active during the day so that he is tired at night. My daddy had sundowners and I had to give him a schedule as when to go to bed and when he could get up because he wanted to go to bed at 10 am and up at 1am. Ask the doctor if melatonin may help. These are only suggestions and please always ask your doctor before adding or taking away medications.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ohwow323

My mom didn’t eat much either she couldn’t taste anything . Get some sleep for yourself . Hire someone overnight .
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to KNance72

Well, first off I would sleep in another room. Initially, I did that, however, I eventually had to move my husband to another property I owned with 24/7 care as I was not getting any rest and still had a business to run. He spent the last 6 weeks of his life in hospice, in a facility.

For respite I would take him to a facility for a few days at a time, do what you want during that time, enjoy you, you are entitled to have a life as well.

Sometimes we caregivers get too wound up in caring for our LO's we forget that in order to continue, we need to be at the top of our game, mentally & physically.

Unfortunately, there have been many incidents where the caregiver dies before the patient,

I hope that you have a backup plan in place if something happens to you.

Sending support your way,
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MeDolly

Nothing you can do. Just keep feeding him. Ask what he likes. Ensure is good. I let my wife sleep at least she is not in pain. I can’t imagine personally what it is like to see your body deteriorate and know the end is near.
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Reply to Sample

Try to copy and paste. This URL is crazy.

I tried it and it worked.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ConnieCaretaker
Bonnets42 May 5, 2023
Never got it to work on my Mac!
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