My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How do you solve a problem like my mother?

So blogettes, we have a conundrum. Ma is in a major snit this morning because she's been awake for 'hours' (see previous blog post about time awareness). She is currently refusing to take any medication and blaming me for everything. Eh well, that's not new.

I have no doubt that she has been awake for a while, she doesn't move about very much and goes to bed at 6pm at the latest so is bound to be raring to go at an ungodly hour. But any attempt to keep her up longer is flatly ignored/refused/rebuffed.

Given that she can't walk very far at all, how can I get her to expend some energy?

I know she gets up in the night and I don't always hear her (although I do my best, I need an old fashioned baby monitor I think). This morning when I went into her bedroom she is huddled under her dressing gown on top of the bed so she's clearly been up. That and the fact that her slippers are in the bed. Big clue.

I'm breaking out into a cold sweat imagining her falling and me not hearing her. I notice she's started carrying her zimmer rather than using it for support, is this a good thing ie she's getting stronger? Or is it foolish and far too soon. Either way, she won't be told about using it properly and I'm not convinced it's stubborness, more likely that she can't remember how to use it. But it certainly increases the risk of falling in the night.

Any ideas?


  1. Does she have a wheel chair for times when your out? Sometime, just before they normally want to go to bed, if you take them out for a stroll, or even to fill the bird feeders. it distracts them into staying up. Only works if she has a chair so she won't fall from fatigue. Once they are in, they can be distracted for a while before they realize that it is passed Ned time(7 pm), but they can sleep more soundly. At least it sometimes works with the seniors I work with. Will she take meds in Pudding? Maybe of you picked up some Tic Tacs, it could be Pill time for both of you... Then she wouldn't be the only one taking them.

    Just a few things I try at work...

    Good luck.. Wishing you an afternoon nap, and a reason to smile Large :-)

    Ohhh One more thing.. Some of my seniors will sit for a long time, folding facecloths or napkins. They seem to take comfort in having a job to do. It doesn't work for everyone though. When all else fails... I sing.


  2. I'd say stairgate at the door would give you peace of mind, but that may make her frustrated if she can't get out of her room, so maybe opt for the baby listener.
    Think the wheelchair idea is a good one, the fresh air will also do her good. Just remember to bundle her up like a new born, Mum freezes if I don't as she's just sitting there. I on the otherhand am sweating cobs!
    If you don't have one, check out the Red Cross, they hire them out for a donation.

  3. Wheelchair! *face palm* Now I really feel stupid.

  4. I did have to resort to using the gate, I'm afraid. It actually worked out OK, but that was downstairs to stop umpteen million wanders upwards. Not sure about upstairs. Depends on awareness, I would think. Wheelchair... she will get used to it, promise! :) x