Dementia: Fear and Confusion At Bedtime Returns

This is the second night running that Maureen  became distressed and confused as she prepared to go to bed.  We had enjoyed a fairly good morning with  a long walk before lunch.  The afternoon and evening passed relatively peacefully, apart from Maureen saying  there was a little boy in the corner of our lounge watching us as we played a couple of table games..

Shortly after 10pm she came down from getting ready for bed and said ‘they were having a meeting to try to find a place for her in the Ladies Room’.  She said ‘she had to wait until they had finished the meeting before she knew where she was going to sleep’.  When I tried to help she told me firmly ‘that it was nothing to do with me, and I should go to bed’.

At around 11pm Maureen came upstairs and I  went to meet her as she arrived at the top of the stairs.  This was a silly mistake and caused her to screeam.    It took me a while to calm her down and assure her that there won’t be a man in her bed tonight.  She looked so distressed as she arranged her pillows and sorted out her bed.

I think it is fair to assume that Maureen continues to ‘time travel’ and is haunted by demons from her past.   The Clinical Psychologist from the Stroke Team warned me that Maureen’s fear of men was likely to resurface as her dementia progressed.  This is so difficult to deal with as Maureen is often unclear who I am, and may see me as someone who might cause her harm.  Trying to comfort someone at arms length is quite a challenge.  Hopefully she will remember that I am only a partition wall away and to yell at any time of the night if she needs me.

Maureen did remember where I was during the night and early this morning.  She popped in to see me around 2 am before going downstairs for a while.  I stayed in bed and listened as she returned to her bedroom and shut the door.  When the coast was clear I went downstairs and turned out the lights she had left on.  Two hours later she was on the move again walking from one area of the house to another.

I left Maureen to her roaming for a while and got up when I heard her crying.  She told me ‘she was lost and couldn’t find her way around the house’.  I carefully guided her back to her bed and things went quiet for a while until I heard her crying.   Then it all made sense to me when she said: ‘my mum’s gone downstairs’

When Maureen lived with her parents she shared a bedroom with her mum.  Her dad had epilepsy and slept in a room of his own to prevent his fits from harming his wife. Therefore it’s not surprising that Maureen is confused about where she sleeps: she can’t find her mum.

I’m hoping that the sun comes out again today, and we will be able to go for a walk. The Boating Lake and a play area for children is within walking distance. There’s nothing like watching little ones in the Sand Pit or on the Pirates Ship on a sunny afternoon.

 

 

 

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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