1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

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Getting really worried .....

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by piph, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    1,530
    Northamptonshire
    I'm getting really worried about Mum. OH and I are staying with her while the park that our static caravan is on is closed for the usual 2 months. Last year we took ourselves off to France for 5 weeks of the 8 but felt so bad that we were leaving her with just carers coming in that we decided not to go this year.

    We've been here now for just over 2 weeks. At first I had a bit of difficulty getting Mum to get up in the morning, and things have become steadily worse so that now she's spending more time in bed asleep than out. However, she has managed to get up for perfectly well on the 3 Wednesdays we've been here for her weekly day at Age UK, but has been wiped out the next day. Well, I've let her stay in bed on the Thursdays, but this week she's been in bed all yesterday and today, mostly asleep. I was a bit worried last week on the Friday when she wouldn't get up, so I called and spoke to the GP who didn't seem to think I should be worrying about it, but I should encourage her to get up and do her normal morning routine, (which seems to be to stay in bed!)

    But she just says that she is so tired and wants to have a good sleep, and refuses to get up. If she were awake and reading or watching the telly I would just think she was being lazy (so unlike non-dementia Mum - she wouldn't even let me lie in bed a bit at the weekend when I was a teenager, and thought it was slovenly if the curtains weren't open by 8am!). But it's the amount of time that she is spending asleep that worries me - I reckon that she's spending at least 18-20 hours a day asleep (apart from Wednesdays). Her usual carer doesn't think this is normal for an elderly lady and was the one who encouraged me to speak to the GP.

    Mum is in the moderate stage of dementia, and by no means near the end of her life, but it just seems to me that she has decided to sleep her life away. She's complained a lot about feeling lonely, so I hoped that she would perk up with us here, but she seems to have gone the opposite way.

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to explain the circumstances fully. Has anyone got any ideas about this? Part of me is reluctant to make waves as she can be very stubborn and sulk a lot if she s forced to do something she doesn't want to, so I'm taking the path of least resistance and letting her stay in bed asleep, but then I'm feeling guilty about wanting a quiet life! Help!!!!! :eek:
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,767
    Female
    Dundee
    That's a very hard one I think. Bill would sleep all of the time if I let him to be honest he does sleep a lot of the time. Mostly the carer gets him up between 9.30 and 10 and he has his breakfast. He then tends to fall asleep in the chair in front of the tele. She wakes him for lunch around 12.30 - 1.00 and if he was allowed to he'd go right back to sleep again. Normally the afternoon carer or I get him organised and take him out. Just now he's sound asleep in the chair having been at the choir this afternoon. He'll probably sleep until about 6. Unless he has an activity or we have something planned together I let him sleep. If he had his way he would stay in bed.

    Sorry. Not much help. Just a recognition of the situation. He's not ill, just sleepy. When he was first diagnosed it was slightly different. He wanted to stay in bed but that, I think, was more of a comfort/safety thing. He was safe in bed and didn't know what getting yo would mean for him.

    By the way, I know what you mean about the quiet life:rolleyes: I take that route too sometimes!!
     
  3. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    4,716
    Wiltshire
    I wonder if there are perhaps a couple of issues going on here. Sometimes you can find that someone's bed becomes their place of refuge. It is what is familiar to them and taking root can mean that you don't have to face the challenges that dementia presents. It could be that this is what she is experiencing and this is bring her an element of comfort. The other thing added to this might be that your presence has taken the stress off her to 'perform' what we would consider to be her daily duties. You will know yourself how much assistance you are bringing and no doubt helping her out across the board. This can also be a reason why she doesn't have to get up and at it for now.

    My suggestion would be to explore whether, with the help of the carer, you can change the rules. You could perhaps tell her that her GP is insisting that she there are some things that she must do eg. she must sit up at the table to have her meals; she must get up and get washed and dressed even if she feels she has to go back to bed for a nap later in the day. These would be good wins to achieve and I would place less emphasis for the moment on, say, her returning to bed for a nap, especially if her GP isn't unduly concerned about this. If she gets up to go to her Age UK trip, perhaps on other days you could take her out, say, for lunch and use this as a reason to get her out of bed. Is there anywhere locally that does cheap lunches, for example? It doesn't have to be a permanent feature but could be something which can help get her to feel motivated to get out of bed and ready to go out.

    Fiona
     
  4. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    1,530
    Northamptonshire
    Thanks Fiona, all good ideas, and I think all partially right. I was very stern with her this morning (tough love?) and told her that she must get up and have a shower as she had been in bed for 60 hrs :)eek:), and, she was beginning to smell as it was 3 days since she'd had any sort of a wash! I also told her that she'd get bed sores, and that she must make the effort, even if it's hard. She actually did, and also had a shower! I made her some breakfast (it was past 11 o'clock by this time), then we sat and had a chat. I asked her if us being here was proving too difficult for her, and she assured me that it wasn't. So then I asked her, if that was the case, then why was she staying in bed and sleeping such a lot. I got the usual answer that she didn't sleep well at night - well if you sleep all day then you are bound to wake up a lot at night! Duh!!!!! Anyway, she eventually said it was laziness and apathy! So - I've told her that I'm going to insist she gets up every morning. She grumbled a bit but not as much as I thought she would. I had to assure her that I wouldn't get her up too early! Some hope - I have a job to drag myself out of bed before 9 these days unless I need to be somewhere! So we've agreed on between 10 and 11. I'm also going to sort something out with her care agency for when we go home again, to take her out one day a week to the library, or the garden centre or shopping to give her an incentive to get up. Hope it works, we'll see what happens tomorrow and next week!

    Also, thanks Izzy, for making me feel I'm not alone, and that it's ok to take the path of least resistance!

    PS - We changed her bed as well as it was minging :)eek:) and she's now exhausted and asleep in her chair, but at least she's up!
     

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