Until I get my mother placed in a facility I need advice on dealing with wandering behavior, her getting into things, and sleepless nights.

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I have the same problem with my father-inlaw, although not every night. Many nights he insists he has to go somewhere or that people are in his room. I know this is because of the dementia and he insists on keeping his tv on all night. I also recommend the book "The 36 hour day".

We had him in assisted living, but he was not being fed enough and we took him out last February. I had to quit my full time job to care for him, and it is a never ending job. I have found he does best at night, if he stays active throughout the day. Also keeping everything the same in his room, he seems to notice if I move anything from it's place.
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hiring a night caregiver to oversee ADW while I sleep is becoming necessary for me to survive vs a using a nursing home.

My debate is what hours to I ask for coverage. after supper is filled with demands to get up and go to work, school etc. She wakes in the weee morning hours from 2 to 4 AM . Some days everything is OK and no overseeing is needed.
Coverage for the 11 to seven night shift is $170.

How do I decide which time periods are best ?

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We have solved this after having had the same problem, with my poor father sleeping with one eye open, leaving him utterly exhausted. (Previously she would wake up at midnight, 2am - wander etc) I suggested we take Mum off ALL sugar - sugar in her tea, biscuits, cakes, desserts. Since we has done this, she has been sleeping right through until 5-6am. This is without sleeping pills as well as Aricept. She is now up at 6am for a little while, then goes back to bed. Dad also now is able to get back to sleep, then up and feeding her at 8-9am. He can function now. I highly recommend removing all sugar from their diet as it will stop them waking up during the night and wandering around. (My mother is in a nappy so some patients may get up to go to the toilet).
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my step dad would always wander off our property so we installed (by our selves, mind you) a super effevctive security monitor that alerts us when there is movement by the sensor. i realize this is probably the same answer that you got from a lot of people but it was really cheap and still is super effective so thought i'd offer some help:)
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how to deal with my dad's sleepless nights. wandering thru the entire night
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Once the night fidgeting and wandering began with my dad, my mom began sleeping in the guest bedroom so that she could get some sleep. She placed a motion detector in my dad's bedroom so that she could be alerted on her end if he wandered more than 3 feet from the bed (although the motion detector was adjustable and portable).

This way, she could redirect him, get him back into bed, and they both were able to sleep. However, once Dad started getting up 6-12 times a night, she hired a night caregiver to oversee Dad while my mom slept because a caregiver can't give proper care and stay healthy with too little sleep.
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Mary_ There is much to learn about these behaviors that your Mom seem to be exhibitong-such as:
As with patients with dementia, etc living at home, once the cause of the sleep problems has been identified, specific treatment should be initiated. However, in addition, general measures to be taken include limiting naps to one hour in the early afternoon and avoiding all caffeine (including chocolate). Many medications are known to affect sleep patterns; therefore, residents’ medications should be evaluated and dosing schedules adjusted. The most important action is improving the environment—keeping it bright during the day, and dark and quiet at night.23 If residents do not have an opportunity to go outside during the day, bright light should be brought into rooms where the residents spend the most time.
Once you do place her in a fscility, and have POA for her medication, I would then go over this problem with the head nurse and staff-to reach some type of resolution that would be favorable to all. Keep in mind fhat medications that do work for others, may NOT nececessarily be the ones of choice in your situation.
My BEST to you as well as your Mom on this journey!
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I have the same problem. There are medications , but they constipate so you have to give more miralax or something daily. She moved in with us and wee cut her wooden bedroom door in half .The outer side has 2 locks on it. She cannot get out, she is safe. Lots of times she wanders and gets right back in bed. Sometimes she calls me or talks to her deseased husband, its so sad, and goes back to bed. Other times I do get up, change her and get her back in, but she is SAFE and her room is safe. Its better than any gate you could purchase. I find thou, keeping her well fed and NO naps with plenty of activity all day cures it. I make SURE Moms daycare keeps her awake, hydrated and well fed. Works well and I can tell when they dont. Good luck.
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Looking through the articles on this website will help you immensely, get a few good books on dementia, such as "Learning to Speak Alzheimer's" or How to Alzheimer's proof your home, or "The 36-hour day" all of which are in my library, and of course online resources. This website has excellent articles on dealing with the daily challenges of being a caregivers, and there is a fact sheet that you can find online (not sure if it is on this website). Here is the title:

(Family Caregiver Alliance) FCA Fact Sheet, Dementia, Caregiving and Controlling Frustration

The Family Caregiver Alliance has very useful fact sheets that will help you quickly.

People with dementia walk, seemingly aimlessly, for a variety of reasons, such as boredom, medication side effects or to look for “something” or someone. They also may be trying to fulfill a physical need—thirst, hunger, a need to use the toilet or exercise. Discovering the triggers for wandering are not always easy, but they can provide insights to dealing with the behavior.
• Make time for regular exercise to minimize restlessness.
•Consider installing new locks that require a key. Position locks high or low on the door; many people with dementia will not think to look beyond eye level. Keep in mind fire and safety concerns for all family members; the lock(s) must be accessible to others and not take more than a few seconds to open.
•Try a barrier like a curtain or colored streamer to mask the door. A “stop” sign or “do not enter” sign also may help.
•Place a black mat or paint a black space on your front porch; this may appear to be an impassable hole to the person with dementia.
•Add “child-safe” plastic covers to doorknobs.
•Consider installing a home security system or monitoring system designed to keep watch over someone with dementia. Also available are new digital devices that can be worn like a watch or clipped on a belt that use global positioning systems (GPS) or other technology to track a person’s whereabouts or locate him if he wanders off..
•Put away essential items such as the confused person’s coat, purse or glasses. Some individuals will not go out without certain articles.
•Have your relative wear an ID bracelet and sew ID labels in their clothes. Always have a current photo available should you need to report your loved one missing. Consider leaving a copy on file at the police department or registering the person with the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program
•Tell neighbors about your relative’s wandering behavior and make sure they have your phone number in case your mother does try to wander away.

I could keep typing for about a year on all that I have learned about Alzheimer's and dementia and I would barely scratch the surface of what to do. It is an ever changing illness that you must adapt to.

Just be realistic in what you can do (if alone). Have resources in place to help you, even if just to 'fix things' around the house, while someone takes Mom for a ride or an icecream. I couldn't change the linens in Mom's room while she was in the house. She was very uncomfortable with her 'laundry' being mixed in with other 'stuff' and her perception was that we were stealing her 'things' when all we truly were doing was cleaning her room!

Rule number one: If you don't know what your mother will do when alone, DON'T leave her alone! It only takes one tragedy to ruin your life. There are daycare centers (senior centers) church groups, senior help, and even hired help that can come and "keep Mom company" while you are away.

My mother almost burned the house down when she tried to 'start' a fire' in the coal stove (it was an electric stove) with some 'paper' and a box of matches. My brother had turned off the 'power' to the stove thinking that would keep Mom safe while he was gone, but in my Mom's mind, she had a 'coal stove' and it just needed to be 'stoked' again to get going. CRISIS averted, but important lesson learned. (Brother was SHOCKED to think that Mom would start a fire!!!)

Get a few good books on Alzheimer's/dementia and start reading! There is also a 20+ page report I send to those that want a crash course (not mine, but an excellent source of info) and here it is:

Understanding the Dementia Experience
by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller, B.A., R.N., M.Sc.N.

Please take the time to look at this information. And God bless you for helping your mother!!
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