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Registered User
Dec 26, 2003
Hello everyone. well the presents have been opened and the christmas dinner consumed. Now all that remains is the leftover missmash ( turkey trifle i fear.)
My mother, who is 93 and lives with me now, was seen by a visiting consultant psychiatrist on Christmas eve and was diagnosed as having Alzheimers disease. Ever since Mum developed Pneumonia 6 weeks ago, she has changed. Prior to that she just had difficulty with some aspects of her daily life, but now there is confusion, disorientation, severe disturbance to her sleep pattern and a memory span of only a few minutes for some things.
last night I was up late with the family, (playing with scalextric,) and and my mum got up and dressed herself several times. I went to bed and left her sitting in her chair as she could not understand it wes early morning. She woke me at 8.15 and asked me if I wanted a cup of tea! My partner and myself don't know how to cope with the lack of sleep whilst working full time. My mum also has very little sight. I want to help her as much as i can.It was good to be able to share your experiences on this forum. Thank you everyone


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Ruthy,

Getting up several times during the night can be very frustrating, especially if you are having to work during the daytime too. Do you have any care support?

I've found that getting my parents into a really regular routine is very helpful. ie: Morning tea at 7am, breakfast at 8am, coffee at 10am, lunch at 12.30, afternoon tea at 3.15pm and dinner at 5.30pm and bed usually for them at 7.30pm during the winter helps them to feel secure and able to sleep better. They seldom sleep during the day, which is better as they tend to sleep longer at night - great news for me.

Also - giving them a lighter lunch and then a good evening meal means that they don't wake up hungry during the night. If they do, then I make them some warm milk which ususally sends them off to sleep again. Additionally I give them all their medication, Aricept, etc in the morning [apart from the sleeping pills of course].

Routines are really important to them and this gives me short breaks during the day, when I can get onto the web, do a bit of shopping or reading. I suppose it's a bit like having very young children.

Hope this might help you with your sleep deprivation!



Registered User
Jul 9, 2003
South Coast
Dear Ruthy

It may be significant that your mother's condition deteriorated significantly after developing pneumonia. I have found out that infections or other illness can make the Alzheimer's symptoms much worse (urinary infections or even constipation are often quoted as examples). I think there was an article about it in a recent Alzheimer's Society newsheet, which you may be able to get hold of.

I don't think this information is of any practical help, but may at least help to explain why things changed so noticeably.

Best wishes