Jan 2, 2014

Dementia Care Problem - Husband Sleeps All Day, Stays Up at Night

A dementia care problem. How do I get my husband back to sleeping at night and up in day time.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

I received this email from a reader seeking a solution to a problem that is somewhat common among Alzheimer's Care Partners.

Dear Bob,

Thank you for so much insight and understanding.

How do I get my husband back to sleeping at night and up in day time.

He sleeps all day, gets up a few times for meal and bathroom , and other things, but then starts dozing in chair or wherever he is. Then by evening after dinner , I am exhausted and he is ready to go. I would appreciate any suggestions. Just got your article about getting them to drink drink drink.

Forever appreciative

I'll start by making this suggestion which I believe applies to all problems and all Alzheimer's caregivers.

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If you live near an Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers, I would strongly suggest you contact them and ask for advice and assistance. In fact, even if you are not close by, try calling they closest ADRC. They have satellites and lots of contacts to resources.

To learn more about Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers and get contact information -- go here.

If you live near a major University I would contact them. You might start by calling any of the following: the School of Nursing, Department of Human Development or Family Studies, and even the Department of Neurology.

Belief it or not their are nurses with PhD's doing research at Universities and they can be a wonderful resource. Many of them are studying problems associated with dementia, and they are familiar with solutions. Check out Rita Jablonski's article - Strategies to Promote Mouth Care in Persons with Dementia, “C’mon, Mom, brush your teeth”, as an example.

Ernestine, here is my advice. You have to change the current pattern of behavior. This most likely means finding activities outside the house during the day to keep your husband up and moving.

For example. I took my mother, Dotty, out ever single day between 4 and 6 PM depending on the time of year. We went to the pool. We sat outside McDonald's and had a coffee or an ice cream.

We went to Walmart and my mother drove around following me in the motorized carts they.

We even went to the gym 5 days a week for many years.

The one big key - you need to get your husband into bright light during the day. Sit him next to window, open up the curtains, turn on the lights. Take a walk during the day.

Change the pattern and keep him active during the day. Please be patients. It might days, or more likely, a few weeks to change the pattern. But once you do, the problem could be solved.

Okay readers, have you experienced this problem? 
Do you have any suggestions? Any advice? 

Or better yet - the solution?

Sound off below in the comments section.

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+Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

To learn more about Alzheimer's and dementia visit the Alzheimer's Reading Room