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Posted by teejay on July 20, 2000 at 14:02:36:

In Reply to: sleeplessness posted by Carrie J. McGee on July 16, 2000 at 09:25:22:

: I have been caring for my 89 year old mother for three years in my home. We have day help, but at night it's just me and Mom. She roams around and does some dangerous things--going outside, climbing in the bathtub alone and then screaming for help. I'm becoming sleep deprived and stressed out. Of course she suffers too from not sleeping. I have found nothing that is guaranteed to make her sleep at night. I've tried everything from Ambien to Tylenol PM. Nothing works consistently. Can anyone suggest a medication that will solve our problem? I kept her at home to prevent her bing "zombinized" at a Nursing Home. It's beginning to look like that is the only solution. Please help somebody!

Carrie, I do not have a sure-fire answer for the sleplessness, but I do want you to know you are not alone as you probably sometimes feel like you are. Thankfully, at this point in our situation my husband is still sleeping most nights, and if he gets up he doesn't roam. Of course, I am in the bed with him which gives him comfort. His mother was more sleepless in her Alzheimers, and we gave her a Benedril tablet at bedtime, or 2 Tylenol. I know when she had to be in a care home the Dr. said the Benedril would not hurt her, if it benefitted her, so it was continued until she could no longer get out of bed. I understand that you do not want to 'drug' her, but at the same time you must get some rest to cope during the day even with help. I certainly will not hesitate to ask the Dr. for something to help him sleep when my husband reaches that point.
Right now, his greatest problem is remembering that he has done something and continually worrying about getting it done; also, he has begun to blame me for everything that he imagines goes wrong. I knew that was coming, but still is difficult to deal with.
If you ever need to 'spill over', you may use my e-mail and I will 'listen'. I know what you are going through, because I am, too. We are in the third year, at least, and just this month I see a sharper decline than ever before. Probably, we are in for the rough long haul now.
I am saying a prayer for you and your mother as I send this, that today will be a calm one.
From one who knows,

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