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Sitting in the dark


Registered User
May 11, 2010
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
MIL, who lives in the garage :eek::eek: (we did have it converted into a lovely one bed annexe :D:D) never opens her curtains and often if I suggest that I open them she shouts at me and tells me to leave them alone.

She has a lovely view of the garden but still sits in relative darkness. I suspect she’s not alone in doing this and I should probably leave well enough alone if she’s happy. It just seems such a shame that she cuts herself off from the world. Maybe she feels safer I don't know.

Good job we never got around to putting a blind in her kitchen. At least some light gets in and we can see if she’s in the lounge/kitchen.

This is the view into the garden in 2011 when the builders were just about finished converting the garage.



Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
Perhaps the views outside don't tally with what she thinks should be there in her mind. If she can't see the outside its one less thing for her to have to try to make sense of in her world.


Registered User
May 21, 2012
Sydney, Australia
I think sometimes people with dementia may become a little paranoid about things. She may think someone is looking through, and it could be her own reflection and it scares her. I always tried to adopt the policy of the least resistance, anything to make them more relaxed and content.

It is a shame when these things happen, but sadly it can be that they simply don't perceive things as they once did. As with so many things, it may pass and she will no longer need to keep the curtains drawn.

Stephanie, xxx


Registered User
Jul 15, 2013
My dad does this - wont even have the lights on! Getting him to open a window to allow fresh air is virtually impossible - in fact I'd have more luck establishing world peace!

My friend however goes in busying around, joking and tells him off and for the few hours she's there (she does his washing and cleaning twice a week) he allows this to happen . Once she's gone he shuts the window and closed the curtains but I have accepted that a few hours a week is better than nothing!

I think Stephanie is right it can be disorientating for them at certain stages of dementia and maybe they feel unsafe .



Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
North East England
I've had a thought, maybe it sounds silly, but here goes ...

If your mum isn't bothered about or even interested in the view (or maybe is frightened or disturbed by it for some inexplicable reason), but you would prefer her to have the natural light coming into the room, how about buying some of that frosted film that you can get to put onto windows? We have just put it on the inside of our garage windows to disguise the contents of the garage but without blocking the light (hubby has a sort of workshop in the garage and wouldn't want to close a blind in the daytime).

It was very easy to apply, and if it caused any sort of problem for your mum, it would easily peel off again.

You can get it completely frosted, or with cut-out patterns (this is the type we chose).

Would this be something to consider maybe?

Here's a nice American gentleman showing how easy it is:


We bought our film from Wilkinsons, it wasn't very expensive.
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Registered User
Jun 18, 2013
I have not posted for ages but do read TP most nights.
My XOH, who has AD and VD also sits with the curtains closed all day. I asked him today why, all he could say was 'to be honest I don't know'! Such a shame as he did have a beautiful garden, which has sadly been neglected this year. Perhaps he doesn't want to be reminded about his lovely garden in which he spent many hours.