Sleep and wandering: I have just been to stay... - Care Community

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Sleep and wandering

Horatius profile image

I have just been to stay for a few days where my mum is in the home. She is settling well - been there 4 weeks. The home is very good with excellent staff and the other residents are lovely. The only thing is - is mum wanders at night. At present she has a 1to1 carer at night who stays outside the bedroom. Reading through the notes, she sleeps fitfully for 5 to 15 minutes at a time and then gets up, wanders around the room, back to bed, on to the chair, along the corridor and down in the lounges. She can get to the stairs and has been found on them - not holding on to banisters as she has her (broken) right arm and the stair lift is on the left. Somehow she manages to stay awake all day - doesn't go to bed before 10.00 at night. She is not on any medication. She has also started having 'hallucinations' at night.

The other thing, I found a little disconcerting is that all the residents except mum go to bed quite early, which leaves her on her own in the lounge although the carers are around - she's not left alone but that is unsettling for her.

3 Replies
sassy59 profile image

Hello Horatius, it does seem as if your mum is in a really lovely home with caring staff but it is unsettling that she wanders. It could be that she’s still trying to work out where she is and is still settling in.

I hope the carers are keeping a close eye on her as she could fall. Perhaps she could be encouraged with a bedtime routine. I’m not sure it would work but worth a try.

My mother in law has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia and wanders around a lot day and night. I hope things improve for your mother. Xxxx

Callendersgal profile image

Hi Horatius,

It was good of you to come back and update us all. Great news that you've just had a visit and I'm sure that did you both a world of good.

I can understand your continuing concern about mum's wakefulness and wandering at nights. She must find it a bit odd that everyone else has gone off to bed when she's still wide awake, but it sounds as if the staff at her Home are very competent and caring, so try not to worry too much about this.

My own sister was a 'midnight wanderer' and eventually being the only resident awake became her new 'normal' and, as with your mum, there were always staff who kept a close eye on her. Trying to persuade her back to bed made her aggressive and upset and that might happen if your mum was coerced, so probably it's better to deal with 'what is' rather than what you would ideally like it to be.

But it's so good to hear that otherwise your mum is so settled now, and relatively quickly at that.

So try not to worry too much when you aren't there. It is an extra challenge to have to 'care' from a distance. Mum's home sounds really super, so don't guilt-trip yourself. Leave them to do what they seem to be doing so well, and reassure yourself that sometimes just truly caring for someone means leaving someone else to do the practical work.

Clearly you love your mum, and that's the important bit!

Very best wishes.

Hi Horatius, I don't know whether your mum has a diagnosis of dementia but if she does, it quite often disrupts the normal rhythms we have. A lot of people with dementia don't respond to the normal signals telling our brains that it's time to get up or time to sleep. A sleep routine could be helpful as suggested so that your mum associates the routine e.g.. having a hot milky drink with bedtime. It sounds as if the staff at the home are caring and have insight into your mum's habits so that's the main thing. I wish you all the very best and I am pleased that your mum is settling in well.

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