Closing allcurtains and doors

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by malcolmpr, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. malcolmpr

    malcolmpr Registered User

    Aug 4, 2013
    barnsley england
    just fairly recently my wife who has alzheimers insists as soon as it is dusk drawing every curtain in the house and closing all doors.
    She is constantly asking to turn the television or radio down even though i can hardly hear it she worries it will disturb our neighbours has anybody else experienced this.
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    The outside can be frightening. OH is also very keen on shutting curtains. A lot of people with dementia don't like noise much either. I would just go with it, unless you can't hear the TV at all anymore!
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    or until she asks you why YOU have got the TV on so low! Never be surprised by dementia !
  4. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    My husband is also keen to draw the curtains as soon as dusk starts to fall. I don't mind, it always seems that much cosier at this time of year. He only worries about pulling the curtains in the room we are in though, we don't go around pulling all the curtains in the house.

    He also expresses concern that we might be too noisy for the neighbours (we aren't noisy at all, but he does worry about it) and he often asks me if we are speaking too loudly or if the tv should be turned down.

    He has always been careful about not intruding on others, so I think this is just a heightened sense of that feeling of responsibility.

    The walls in our semi are very thick and it is almost impossible to detect noise from next door - even when they had 5 teenagers living at home - so I always reassure him that we are being good neighbours and no noise nuisance!
  5. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Closig curtains and doors.

    The behaviour you're describing is perfectly normal and describes how I was brought up to a T. As soon as it's dusk, to close the curtains for privacy from prying eyes out in the street and to keep the heat in the room is perfectly reasonable - as is keeping the door of the room you're in firmly closed, again to keep the heat in.

    Those of us who were brought up in the days before domestic central heating was the norm and who remember the power cuts of the late 1960's and early 1970's will know what I mean :) !

    And keeping the noise down so as not to annoy the neighbours is being very nice and neighbourly, too.
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    My mother would insist on shutting windows and drawing curtains by 5pm - even in the middle of summer in a heatwave - and she lived in the warmest area of the Uk anyway. I don't mind admitting it drove me bonkers, especially since she had started smoking heavily. I never found a way round it. Once or twice I would tell her that I HAD to have a window open or I'd have to go home (I would stay the night once or twice a week) but as soon as I went to the loo or into the kitchen she'd be up in a flash and close everything again.

    Now and then I would arrive at her house well before 5 in summer, to find everything closed and shut up, and she'd have gone to bed, but that was I think more down to having no idea of time any more.
  7. malcolmpr

    malcolmpr Registered User

    Aug 4, 2013
    barnsley england
    drawing curtains

    Thanks Lynne
    no matter how many times I tell her there is no chance of disturbing the neighbours it doesnt make any difference I will just have to keep the tele down so I can just hear it.She wont even dry her hair in the morning in case it disturbs the neighbours
  8. malcolmpr

    malcolmpr Registered User

    Aug 4, 2013
    barnsley england
    Drawing curtains

    Your response is not very helpful of course we all know closing doors, curtains to conserve heat and I am sure that we are all neighbourly but you miss the point with your flippant reply
  9. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    My mum has also become obsessed with closing the curtains, she now pegs her bedroom curtains together so that no one can look in (she also has a blackout blind on the window and we live in a very rural area well off the road). :confused:
  10. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    I didn't read Cobden's reply as flippant, merely pointing out the way things were in the past, which can have an influence on someone with dementia, things remembered from childhood or later.
  11. hvml

    hvml Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    North Cornwall
    That is what I thought too.
  12. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello malcolmpr

    I agree with the above posts about open curtains.

    It never fails to surprise me how many people have the lights on and leave the curtains open and everyone can see in.

    I too keep doors closed in the winter, a force of habit, but also I`m very sensitive to draughts and even with central heating my living room is warmer than the rest of the house.

    The point about disturbing the neighbours , perhaps may stem from a feeling of low self esteem , severe anxiety and paranoia. Perhaps it would help to have a word with your wife`s doctor about this.

    The tone of your response to cobden28 shows how much this is affecting you. Being a carer to a person with dementia is most stressful and often more is expected of us than we can give.
  14. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #14 Witzend, Nov 26, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
    I have to say I sympathised with the OP's response to Cobden. Yes, of course it's sensible to close doors and curtains when it's cold and dark - of course we are all aware of that. But such behaviour can also happen when it's neither cold nor dark, as with my mother, wanting to shut everything on warm summer days, when there were still many hours till dusk, with bright sunlight outside. This came on quite suddenly and was something she'd never have done pre dementia, or in the early stages. The behaviour became quite obsessive, and I suspect this is the case with the OP, hence the post.
  15. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    #15 Selinacroft, Nov 26, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
    I completely understand how frustrating this behaviour is. Dad is also obsessed with closing doors and turning lights off . If I'm working in the kitchen he will turn the light off at the opposite end and shut the door into the hallway (he has to walk through to get to bathroom). It drives me mad and I feel shut in and have to follow him each time undoing all his actions once he's sat down. Drives me potty. He was always a bit like that but much more OCD now.

    Just as a side issue - can you change the spell check on this forum from American to English?
  16. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I understand how frustrating this can be, especially if it is a marked change from, or increase of, usual behaviour.

    Regarding the TV, are you able to hear it if it is turned down so low? If not, would it be feasible for you to use headphones so that you can have the volume as high as you wish without upsetting your wife? I ask this because trying to get your wife to change her behaviour is like asking a tiger to lose its stripes.

    Does the door and curtain closing affect you in any way, other than driving you mad? Again, it might be possible to find a 'work-round' for certain things, even if you cannot stop them.
  17. malcolmpr

    malcolmpr Registered User

    Aug 4, 2013
    barnsley england
    Not so long ago in the morning I would make a cup of tea and together we would listen to radio 4. not possible now all I get is turn it down.
    Watching television it is the same, we can' t take our grandchildren out to a restaurant as they make too much noise and will disturb other diners.
    In the run of things these problems are minuscule compared with what we have to deal with but I was just interested in finding out from other carers it it is a common trait with AZ suffers
    Thanks to all helpful responses

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.