Grandmother wakes up scared

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Belleuosus, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Belleuosus

    Belleuosus Registered User

    Jan 8, 2016
    1
    Mississippi
    Hello everyone. I'm new here and I have a question I hope someone can answer.
    I look after my elderly grandparents and my grandma is in the early stages of dementia (she's 85). Today she told me she wakes up a lot of mornings and doesn't know where she is (she's lived in the same house for 40 years) or who she is and gets scared. After a while she'll realize she's at home. I have witnessed her do this firsthand more than once.
    So my question is: Is there anything I can do to help her recognize her surroundings faster? Can I place an item within eyeshot that she will recognize quickly? A photo of her and my grandfather, or a small sign with the town name, something like that?
    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    9,798
    Merseyside
    Welcome to TP :)

    A photo nearby may help.
     
  3. copsham

    copsham Registered User

    Oct 11, 2012
    593
    Oxfordshire
    I think we try all sorts of things. 90% don't work but it is worth trying for the 10% that does work. As she is in early stages is it worth making a poster saying something like "Goodmorning Mrs XX. We are at (address)" then add a family photo of you and them?

    I think it is so good that she can share this anxiety with you. It shows what a good relationship she has with you. Good luck!
    :)
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,904
    Kent
    Hello Belleuosus

    Waking up was one of the times of most confusion when my husband was with me. I tried to make sure he was never alone when he woke so I could reassure him he was with me and safe. He was often frightened too.
     
  5. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    384
    Voice alarm

    It must exist ...an alarm that comes with a spoken message that you record. Hello gran etc etc. We have a message board for when we are outside the home.
     
  6. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    I don't have dementia but I think if I was awoken by a recorded message I'd be scared half to death or think I'd been incarcerated!

    I'm sorry I don't have anything useful to add but we are facing the same issue. She regularly doesn't know where she is and in an attempt to reconnect her I showed mum a photo of my late father (they'd been married 50 years) -- she looked at it and said: "What that old man?"
     
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I don't have anything useful to add either but a few photos seems good but a recorded message would scare some people and not others. Try everything. The only way we found was a personal hand holding reconnection - so difficult to bring someone back from somewhere we don't know they have gone to!!

    I wonder if some of the people on TP who have a diagnosis of dementia and have actually had experience of this might help us out?
     

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