Sleepless after Sundown

I’m beginning to question if Miss D will make it at home. She was diagnosed with Senile Dementia last year after Adult Protective Services found her unsafe to live alone and removed her from her home. I looked up this diagnose and found one description fit Miss D to a T.

senile dementia progressive mental deterioration associated with aging/old age; characterized by marked short-term memory loss, stubbornness, difficulty with novel experiences, self-centeredness and childish behavior

These symptoms have magnified with her return home. She is not adjusting well with the help in her home. In the middle of the night she roams her apartment unable to sleep, moves furniture and performs endless cycles of cleaning until she flicks on the light switch in the aide’s room and all #@!! breaks loose.

Who are you? What are you doing in my house. I want you out of my house now!

The aides have reported episodes of hitting by Miss D. She has already lost two caregivers not willing to come back. Only one aide will return and deal with Miss D’s dementia. I originally thought this aide was too feisty for Miss D, but perhaps she is the type of caretaker Miss D needs now. I’ve been called to come down late at night and calm Miss D. Clearly this pattern can not continue, everyone needs to sleep.

solutions adjust her medication and see if the aides can go on 12 hour shifts instead of three to four 24-hour days

If this doesn’t work . . . then what?

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9 thoughts on “Sleepless after Sundown

    • Thanks, Joy. Miss D is lonely at home, too, lately. I wasn’t quite prepared for that emotional response since she was so determined to go home. It makes me wonder what years at home she was going to in her mind. I’m a bit sad about this for her.

  1. Changing the shifts might work and it should be a bit easier on the carers to have shorter shifts. It’s a really difficult situation, especially the lseeplessness and roaming about. It must be scary for Miss D to find an apparent stranger in her house in the middle fo the night. For a while my dad took against my husband, not recognising him, and accusing him of coming to take his money. I hope things become a bit easier – sleep deprivation is tough.

    • Hi Mary, they changed the dose on the night med and the last two nights have been better for the caregiver. That’s really not a solution, though. I bet it is scary for Miss D not recognizing the caregivers in her own home. I hope if she can get two to keep coming back, the 24-hour shift will work. Miss D really wants connection with people and it will be hard with a revolving door of caregivers.

      • It sounds like care agencies the world over have the same problem of providing continuity of regular carers

  2. Reading this post about dancing and music reminded me of a film that my husband and I saw a few weeks ago about the power of music for people with dementia…are you familiar with it? It is called “Alive Inside” and it was really amazing….here’s the link in case you don’t know it:

    http://www.aliveinside.us/#land

    • I did hear about this movie this year and still have not seen it. I know it is available on iTunes now and want to get it for my husband’s family. My mother-in-law has dementia, too and I always put on the Opera music she grew up with and loved when I’m with her just like the latin and jazz standards Miss D loves and remembers. I come from a musical family and my husband is a musician. Music is power to the brain. Thank you for reminding me to see this film.

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