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Sleeping anywhere and no sense of day or night

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
37
Hi all, I posted recently (May 14th) about my brothers disruptive sleep and sudden confusion (he's 73, has FTD, lives alone and has daily care). Since that post he has had various blood tests and the results apparently are 'normal'. His sleep disruption continues and so does his confusion but it's moved on a step more since last friday. It seems he no longer recognises the difference between day and night and seems to be sleeping on a chair in the kitchen during the night with the odd trip upstairs to the bathroom. We can tell this from the checking system in his home. He has to walk past his bedroom to get to the bathroom but we gather he doesn't realise it's the middle of the night. I've rung him late evening to tell him to go up to bed and he says he doesn't want to because it's morning. His sleep is deep too. The carer couldn't get him to answer the door today, and rang me as she was worried about just going in and frightening him if he was asleep. It took three phone calls from me to wake him to get him to answer the door (we have a key safe outside if push came to shove). I spoke with the doctor today and he's of the opinion that my brothers condition is accelerating and this is just a progression of it. So sad. I'm considering getting him into a home but I only have Power of Attorney over his property and finances. It seems I'd need to get him to sign an agreement to go into a home, so the doctor told me. Difficult to know what to do for the best. Social Services still maintain that moving him will be too distressing for him and that it's better for him to be at home. I just don't know. I worry that he will go outside at night when he gets more confused. Any advice welcome.

(Maybe the title of this post shouldn't have been sleeping "anywhere' rather, not sleeping in bed - can't work out how to edit the title!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,558
South coast
Im sorry @Brother47 . It does sound like progression. Unfortunately they lose their sense of time, can no longer tell the difference between day and night and their sleeping patterns become chaotic - very much like a baby. Unfortunately there is very little you can do and trying to re-establish "normal" sleeping patterns is unlikely to work.

I take it that your dad is not going outside at night at the moment? I also take it that you have cameras at his home to check up on him? All the while he is not actually going outside I wouldn't worry too much, although if it starts you are in a completely different ball game. You might want to start researching care homes in your area for when/if he does start going out.
 

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
37
Im sorry @Brother47 . It does sound like progression. Unfortunately they lose their sense of time, can no longer tell the difference between day and night and their sleeping patterns become chaotic - very much like a baby. Unfortunately there is very little you can do and trying to re-establish "normal" sleeping patterns is unlikely to work.

I take it that your dad is not going outside at night at the moment? I also take it that you have cameras at his home to check up on him? All the while he is not actually going outside I wouldn't worry too much, although if it starts you are in a completely different ball game. You might want to start researching care homes in your area for when/if he does start going out.
Thanks Canary, I had a horrible feeling it was progression. I’ve tried ringing him later in the evening to tell him to go to bed and he always says he’s just about to, but of course he doesn’t! The doctor told me that sometimes the condition does go in ‘steps’ rather than a gradual decline. He’s my brother not my dad by the way (not that it matters) and he stopped going outside back in October last year after he’d gone for a short walk with a friend. Just half a mile or so from his home his legs gave way. He used to walk for miles but he has become quite thin in the last year and is getting frail. His friend had to get him home in a taxi. It was a shock to him and he still remembers that something horrible happened when he was out so I think that’s stayed with him. Since that incident he’s never gone outside not even to his back garden. Before the lockdown I offered to take him for a drive in my car just to get him out of the house but he refused. He has daily homecare does all his shopping is done for him, thankfully. I just hope that in his recent state of confusion he doesn’t forget that he doesn’t want to go out. The system in his home is a set of sensors over the doorways to each room hence I know when he had a restless night. (Justchecking.co.uk). The system doesn’t require intent thank goodness as he doesn’t have it and never has. Thank you for your advice.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,558
South coast
He’s my brother not my dad by the way
Oops, sorry about that.

It sounds like you have got a good system to keep an eye on him there.
I think its very easy to worry about what ifs, but there doesnt seem to be any indication at the moment that he will go out. Not everyone with dementia, does. A lot of behaviour can be very bizarre, but if its not actually causing harm, then its probably best to try and tolerate it (however much it drives you scatty). My motto is always "pick your battles"
 

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
37
Oops, sorry about that.

It sounds like you have got a good system to keep an eye on him there.
I think its very easy to worry about what ifs, but there doesnt seem to be any indication at the moment that he will go out. Not everyone with dementia, does. A lot of behaviour can be very bizarre, but if its not actually causing harm, then its probably best to try and tolerate it (however much it drives you scatty). My motto is always "pick your battles"
No problem! Good motto. I like it. Thank you!