Dad just never wants to go to bed at night.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Mumof3kids, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    Dad has stopped getting dressed most days recently - he is suffering with COPD and heart probs as well as his Dementia. He looks exhausted all the time and at the moment until his oxygen is sorted, is just shuffling from the sitting room to the kitchen during the day, which is all he can manage.

    He complains to mum about feeling exhausted (and he looks it) - mum would happily go to bed early as she's exhausted looking after him. But he just won't go to bed! Mum will start asking if he wants to go up, say at 10 pm, but he uses delaying tactics to keep up. Eventually when she can't keep her eyes open any longer she will relunctantly say goodnight. Sometimes he gets angry, accusing her of leaving him.

    Recently it's been 1.00 am before she hears him coming up the stairs (she can't sleep until she knows he's in bed). He then sits on the bed telling her he's let her down by not coming to bed earlier.... apologising. This can last for a good half hour.

    I'm wondering whether there's a psychological reason for him just not wanting to go to bed. Once he's in bed he (mostly) goes off to sleep no problem. But is awake at 7ish the next morning. He just doesn't seem to be getting enough sleep.

    Has anyone else had/having a similar experience?

    x
     
  2. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,212
    Sorry no
    But I couldn’t read & run
    (((((((Hugs))))))))
    Your Mum needs to talk to health professionals & get assistance though
    It sounds like his needs have increased
     
  3. Ohso

    Ohso Registered User

    Jan 4, 2018
    168
    I wonder if its a fear of going to sleep and not waking....
    If he has breathing difficulty it might be very scary to release that control of consciousness without knowing thete will be another day. If he is frightened he might feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit to that so sits on the bed telling your mum how sorry he is without being honest about his reasons.
    Of course might be something entirely different so whatever it is l hope they both find the resolution xxx
     
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,986
    Female
    My immediate thought is that it may help if your mother stops asking if he wants to go to bed, and tells him it's time for bed, come along John, off we go. I don't know how susceptible he would be to this of course, but it could be worth trying. PWDs often find it hard to make a simple basic decision - I've tried asking my mother if she wants to sit down, or where she'd like to sit, but she doesn't like the choice and is happier if I lead her over to a chair and we sit down. I think it makes her feel more 'secure' if someone else seems to know what's happening, IFYSWIM.

    I also wonder if your dad is comfortable in bed if he has COPD? I'm asthmatic and before I had the right medication to control it, my breathing was worse when I lay down, I felt better sitting or standing. In those days I would have to sleep propped up with several pillows behind me.
     
  5. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    Thank you. Yes Dad is due a visit from the Memory Clinic nurse this month so she should mention it to her for advice.
     
  6. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    I agree about the not asking a question thing. Although sometimes when we 'tell' Dad to do something he can receive it in an amicable manner, other times sadly he can get quite angry and the thought of being 'told what to do'. It depends on his mood and how he interprets it. But yes I think she should try and give it a go.

    She's told me in an effort to keep things lighthearted she's even suggested they go upstairs 'hand in hand' but he doesn't take her on and just digs his heels in to stay downstairs.

    They just both need more sleep.
     
  7. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    @Ohso Yes I too have thought there's a fear factor attached to it. I also think from what mum says of their conversations when he does eventually go upstairs, that he appears more and more confused and muddled about things, almost like anxiety is the cause. I keep hoping it's a phase of this illness, but it doesn't seem to be showing any signs of disappearing.

    Thank you.
     
  8. Ohso

    Ohso Registered User

    Jan 4, 2018
    168
    Then my advice is routine routine routine.
    Set a bedtime alarm for mum and have her follow routine, the same every night. Start downstairs maybe hot chocolate and slice of toast, train the brain to expect it. Then hot chocolate signals start of routine etc.
    Also on great advice from fellow TP'er Maltesers tell mum to keep some upstairs to use as bribery or diversion once upstairs to stop him fixating on going back down...
     
  9. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    Great - thank you. I need to help mum to implement a routine. Easier said than done but hopefully it'll be succesful and give them both much needed sleep. Thank you.
     
  10. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,212
    Good luck
    X
     
  11. Gillywilly

    Gillywilly Registered User

    Sep 21, 2018
    21
    Hi there my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease but I myself am terminally ill with lung disease. If you’re father doesn’t have any home oxygen it can lead to hypoxia which is a lack of oxygen which in turn can lead to mental confusion. I would be pushing very hard for his oxygen concentrator to be installed. I see no reason for a delay in installation if he requires it as they rent them normally. I hope this is of some help.
     
  12. Dootee

    Dootee Registered User

    Mar 8, 2016
    29
    My mum pwd was the same not wanting to go to bed but weve had a turnaround since the consultant changed her meds to memantine. Its wonderful. Shes so much easier to manage. My dad says let's go to bed and she follows. I always find it best not to pose any questions. They struggle with answers and cognition. In the past he would say I'm going to bed now and she doesnt like being left alone so would just say ok. But with copd in the mix could be something else. Best to get a health check xx
     
  13. Thethirdmrsc

    Thethirdmrsc Registered User

    Apr 4, 2018
    85
    My husband had a period of 7 months of not sleeping. Although he would initially go to bed, he couldn’t settle. The pillow wasn’t right, it was too dark, too light, too hot. He would go downstairs, then come up and sit in a chair just staring at me which I found creepy. Although he was on Lorazapine, it didn’t send him to sleep. So after consulting both the GP and the consultant, he was given Mirtazapine, and it has made a huge difference. He still has the occasional sleepless night, but it’s not as bad.
     
  14. Mumof3kids

    Mumof3kids Registered User

    Aug 12, 2018
    84
    Thanks for everyones' replies - it's really helpful and I'm very grateful. Dad had patient review appointment at the GPs on Monday - me and mum accompanied him. His meds were discussed and we told the GP that dad just doesn't want to go to bed and therefore we're worried he's just not getting enough sleep.

    The GP did say that she'd normally advise for someone to do some gentle excerise or just be outside in the fresh air, but given his low oxygen at the moment, this isn't possible

    She was really helpful and when I updated her on the Respiratory Clinic's appointments and that he's only getting a visit from Ambulatory Oxygen towards the end of January she said she would contact them and push for the appointment to be brought forward. So I'm really hoping this will happen. I did wonder whether the lack of oxygen could be directly connected to what appears a decline in his cognitive capacity so that's interesting @Gillwilly. And I am sorry to hear of your own illness.

    @Dootee - that's interesting that meds helped with your mum. Dad is on Risperidone which really helps with his paranioa and moods. I'll tell mum to tell the Memory Clinic nurse when she does her next house visit.

    Thanks @Thethirdmrsc - all this info is really helpful. I'm glad that your husband is now sleeping.

    .We've done the milky drinks and hot water bottle routine at night, which he's fine and content with. It's just the out right refusal to go to bed we wish we could change. I keep hoping it's another phase.

    x
     
  15. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    405
    Hi @Mumof3kids your poor mum! I can imagine how tired this is making her. My dad was the same. He could be yawning his head off or dozed off at the dining table, and be escorted to his bed, tucked in etc and then when you think that you can now finally rest, you may hear his footsteps 10 mins later... We've also had him get up in the middle of night wandering about, troubling things or, that other known symptom of dementia, not recognising the day/night times.

    My dad's medication was changed to Memantine as well like Dootee's mum. It helped in that when he slept, it was lengthier than before but we still struggled to get him to go to sleep. So after a health check and a visit from the local nhs intermediate care team (they're like the home version of occupational health, arranged via GP), he was prescribed a 'natural sedative' which helps to encourage the body's own function of feeling sleepy. I started a thread on it and most replies said it wasn't effective but it's helped improve most of dad's (and our) sleeps at night.

    I'm pleased to see you were able to see your dad's GP and will be getting a review on his meds in the near future. I hope a solution comes soon x
     

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