Wednesday, April 10, 2013

midnight rambler

My mom, who has dementia, has a new, occasional, night-time routine. After she gets up to use the bathroom, she really gets up. She gets dressed, she makes her bed, and she comes out to sit in her chair in the living room, in front of the big screen tv — in the dark. Because it's still the middle of the night. She has only done this a few times over the past few months — she did it again the other night. It's annoying for several reasons.

She wakes me up (and temporarily wakes up my daughter).
She could get hurt wandering around in the dark house (luckily, she hasn't so far).
She (and the rest of us) needs her rest.
Sitting up for hours in her chair would do her and her back no good at all.

Every night before I say good night to her I have been reminding her of the above four points, and she has agreed and nodded. I've even told her that if she feels like getting up and getting dressed fine — just go back to bed, as it won't be time to really get up until morning. The reminder usually works, except the other night, when it didn't.

She was annoyed when I told her she had to go back to bed, but I stood firm and she did. And she did need her sleep — she was sound asleep when I looked in on her in the morning. It's been suggested that I offer her one of the over-the-counter sleep aids. I'm not too sure about that, but I'll run it past her doc at her appointment next month. In the meantime I'm hoping that my being a little more firm, a little more clear as I say my goodnights, and she will go back to the preferred routine.

It's got to be so hard to really have no sense of time anymore. So much has got to be hard for her these days, but that one really strikes me as unfathomable. Probably because with the kid's school and my needing to keep various appointments (acupuncture, chiropractor) I can't even imagine not knowing or keeping a schedule. Here's hoping that we will all be getting a good, uninterrupted night's sleep tonight.


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