Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Friday, June 11, 2010 Monica St John, Community Member, asks

Q: Do people with dementia stay awake for days?

My father has not slept in 3 days.  He is having severe hallucinations, he could not find he way to the bathroom or find the steps.   He is exhibiting extreme agitation and my mother can barely go to the bathroom without him getting agitated and aggressive.  We have an emergency call in to his neurologist and we are waiting for a call back.  My mother is exhausted and completely overwhelmed.  He has to be watched constantly and she has not slept since he was released from the hospital last Friday.

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Answers (3)
Dorian Martin, Health Guide
6/14/10 12:05pm

Hi, Monica,

 

I apologize for the delay in answering your question. Based on your last sentence, I wonder if your father's disorientation and agitation is due to his hospital stay. I found that after my mom went into the hospital, she was often very disoriented and agitated upon returning to the nursing home.

 

Also, as you consider potential nursing homes for your father, you may want to read Carol Bursack's sharepost.

 

Take care and keep us posted!

 

Dorian

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Monica St John, Community Member
6/14/10 7:37pm

This type of behavior was happening prior to his hospital stay and has gotten worse since he has been home.  Yesterday we had a family dinner and at first he refused to come out of his room.  He came down ate some food and went right back upstairs.  His great-grandchildren could not convince him to come down.  I was at their house at seven-thirty this morning.  My mother was so exhausted that she couldn't get dressed to go her doctor's appointment.  The process to get him to a nursing home is complicated and takes time with the financial issues and all.  However, we are taking him to an Adult Day Care tomorrow morning to see if this will be an option while we work on the legal issues.

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NC, Community Member
6/14/10 10:32pm

Sorry to hear that the process will take a long time. I hope adult day care will help. I am concerned about your mother - maybe you DO need to hire private caregiver to help with the chores or caregive your Dad.

Since your daughter knows well about a nursing home with dementia, I am sure you will find a good one like the one she works with for your father.

 

Good luck,

Nina

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NC, Community Member
6/11/10 3:16pm

Monica,

 

Does he sort of doze off in the day at times? If he does not sleep at all, he gets psychotic due to non-sleeping all the time. I think your Mom needs to sleep. You need to consider other help like caregivers who can come part-time and allow your Mom do the things she has to do such as taking a shower or sleeping for a break. It is not good for your Mom to do this. She would get sick too.

 

My father-in-law has late Alzheimers and he never slept in the hospital in the last 2 years because he thinks people are trying to kill him there. He never slept at night and wanted to get out after midnight. In the day he may doze off but he was on "guard". After he came home, he was better off and dozed off more in the day. Maybe it is not "awake all day" but he slept in the day a little bit? The clock in him is being altered and he may not know the time to sleep. Also when he is psychotic, he will be more agitated. Is there any sedative he can take? In the hospital, they sometimes restrait the patient due to such violence.

 

I am sorry this is so bad... Please find professional help for caregiving. There are home care that have experienced caregivers who know how to handle dementia patients. Families or doctors don't really do anything about caregiving because they don't know the tricks. Home care nurse or some nurses are familiar with dementia care.

 

We are lucky that our home care service know how to handle my father-in-law. He needs some professional caregivers so your Mom can have a break. Have you considered a nursing home for dementia/Alzheimers?

 

Check out the home care service you have locally (maybe in the internet). Most home care service (not home health care for nurses) offer caregivers for Alzheimer's.

 

Take care,

Nina

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Monica St John, Community Member
6/11/10 3:51pm

He dozes for 2 to 3 minutes and then he is up walking around slamming doors, windows etc.  I have been here everyday this week for a least 10 hours each day.  My mother is afraid to give him his meds or fix him something to eat.  I do that now.  How do we impress upon his doctors that it is time for a nursing home?

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NC, Community Member
6/11/10 6:00pm

Going to a nursing home does not need the doctor's permission although sometimes the doctor can recommend a nursing home. My father-in-law's doctor recommended the nursing home this spring. It is up to the family to select the nursing home because there are many reasons for going to a nursing home - the expenses, caregiving problem, 24 hours care and etc.

You don't have to convince the doctor. The nursing home just need to know the diagnosis and situations from the doctors and family.  I am sure the doctor understands. Some doctors are even medical directors of nursing homes.

 

Regards,

Nina

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Monica St John, Community Member
6/11/10 3:51pm

He dozes for 2 to 3 minutes and then he is up walking around slamming doors, windows etc.  I have been here everyday this week for a least 10 hours each day.  My mother is afraid to give him his meds or fix him something to eat.  I do that now.  How do we impress upon his doctors that it is time for a nursing home?

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Dorian Martin, Health Guide
6/14/10 12:38pm

Monica,

 

Here's one more sharepost that I wrote about selecting a nursing home that may be helpful.

 

Dorian

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By Monica St John, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 06/11/10