1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. DarrenSw

    DarrenSw Registered User

    Jul 23, 2015
    Hi everyone. I think this has been covered in a way, but I've not seen anything that properly advises on my situation.

    My partner has mixed dementia. The vascular part has affected short term memory, so his dementia looks more advanced than it really ought to be (if that makes sense). He's 90 and in March fell and broke his hip. This has meant that he can no longer get up the stairs and now has a bed in the lounge.

    When he first came out of hospital he was unsettled as I'd had to change the rooms downstairs round to give him walking access with a frame, so he still often asks when we are going home.

    My big problem though, is that now he is partially mobile he often wakes up in the night and because I am asleep upstairs, he comes to the bottom of the stairs and shouts me. Sometimes this happens three or four times in a night and takes at least 30 minutes to put him back to bed. It wouldn't be a problem in the main, other than I still work part time in the week, Monday to Friday 8:30-12:30. This means I often have less than five hours sleep, and that in one or two hour sections.

    I've tried putting up signs around the house to say where I am and not to disturb me. That worked a little at first, but now doesn't. Last night, I changed it to a letter style sign. One that starts with his name. The situation is getting so bad, I am seriously thinking of packing up work. It's a good respite for me though, as his constant demands can become very annoying.

    I wondered if anyone else has experienced this kind of situation, and what kind of solutions they had come up with. I don't want to give up work if I can help it, but at this point it's looking like the only option that is going to let me rest.
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Could you employ a carer to sit with him a couple of nights a week so you can sleep?

    If you slept downstairs with him would that reassure him?
  3. DarrenSw

    DarrenSw Registered User

    Jul 23, 2015
    I called social services today to look at respite care. Apparently I can have someone once per week, but I need more information on that.

    As for sleeping downstairs with him; I did that when he first came home. I slept on the settee behind his bed. It wasn't ideal, but not bad at first. He started waking me more an more in the night by calling out. Eventually one night, he woke me about every 15 minutes from 1am to 4am.

    I'm looking for strategy suggestions that will stop him coming to the bottom of the stairs and shouting me.
  4. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    Have you spoken to your GP? Perhaps your partner could be prescribed sleeping pills? I am in a similar situation with my husband except that he is waking up every couple of hours to go to the toilet, has no idea where it is and so I have to get up to take him. I rarely get more than two sometimes three consecutive hours of sleep. I still work full time from home so understand what you're going through.

    It's worth looking into overnight care for your partner. Lots of sympathy from me.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  5. Jennyc

    Jennyc Registered User

    Oct 3, 2011
    Hello Darrensw

    Don't know if this would work because though I have bought one, i haven't actually tried using it yet - but I bought a device called Memominder, which is a small box into which you can record a short message and it is movement activated. You could record something like "I am asleep upstairs, you are fine, it isn't time to get up yet so go back to bed" and put it somewhere enroute to the bottom of the stairs so it would be triggered by his movement.

    Maybe hearing your voice would be reassuring? As I said, I don't know how well they work, and the one I have I found quite difficult to record into, you had to speak almost touching the machine, and quite loudly, and it was a little bit distorted, but there may be other such things on the market.
  6. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hello Darrensw
    I was up most of the night with my hubby, told our Dr as l was so tired in the day, he put him on sleeping pills which are wonderful, he sleeps for 7 or 8hrs, so do l now, the only down side is that he is incontient, so he has washable padded pants from Age Uk, l do have to change the bedding every morning, but at lease we both get a good nights sleep.☺
  7. DarrenSw

    DarrenSw Registered User

    Jul 23, 2015
    Thanks everyone.

    Jinx, Not had much contact with the doctor for a while, so sleeping pills haven't been discussed.

    Jennyc, I saw some sort of motion detector thing AND some push button devices (multicoloured hexagons you can put pictures on) that I thought might be interesting and worth a try.

    Sorry to hear about the bedding problem pamann, but I would take undisturbed sleep and daily sheet changing any time.

    This forum is great! :)

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