My mother has very restless nights, she wakes up between 1am and 5 am and tries to get up out of bed and wander, it can be 2-6x a night. Our worst nightmare happened three weeks ago when she got up and fell beside her bed and had a displaced fracture of the pelvis. She is on the mend but night time is a serious safety issue for us. I have ordered a bed alarm mat that works like a baby monitor that alerts us if she gets up off the pad as well as putting cushioned… read more
Hiya, what a worry the night time wondering is. Plus the fact that your sleep is not good either which makes for yet another hard day the next day. Mum also wonders at night and my worst nightmare happened she fell over in the bathroom and broke her shoulder. Its all healed now and she has no memory of it at all. What to do........its a hard one. Mum always goes into the bathroom to rumage around drawers and cupboards, looking at things and moving things around and taking thing to put under her pillow. I used to put a not up in the bathroom saying to go back to bed and I would wake her up in time for daycare and that worked for a few months but no more. It seems nothing is going to stop her, I used to get up and tell her that it was the middle of the night and put her back to bed only to have her get up again in 15 mins. Its such a worry and dangerous but I have stopped trying now and leave her door open so I can hear her but have it in my head now that what happens ..happens. The alarms will let me know she is out of bed but the problem is getting her back and to stay in bed.
These days I just tidy it all up the next day and put the 'under pillow' things back and say nothing.
Since I decided that what will be will be I sleep better and know that if the worst happens I will hear her call out.
I know others have tried side rails on the bed and some even have restraints on for their own safety.
Its hard to know what to do, as side rails and or restraints on my Mum would cause her so much angst and distress that I wont at this stage do that.
If she can still read try the notes (on pretty coloured paper)
good luck with it and lots of hugs.
You can put her mattress on the floor. Biggest issue is you getting down to tend to her. She won't fall far, it is more difficult for her to get up and wander.
I attended the 25th Annual Alzheimer's Convention in Scottsdale, AZ a few months ago. A doctor specifically addressed this issue and said that sleep cycles often get reversed in Alzheimer's patients. When we try to force a patient to sleep (off of their normal cycle) it often creates a worse situation. He said that the majority of Alzheimer's patients hate the dark. He recommended that if you have a night wanderer it is best to set up a room or two that is safe for them to be in and keep the off-limit areas dark. Let the patient sleep whenever they want to. The doctor also mentioned that this can give the care giver some rest during the day when the patient actually chooses to sleep. If you do not want a drug solution, this is a possible alternative.
I have just purchased Safe Wander found on Alzheimer’s Org or Amazon for my husband as my security. It buttons on his pajama top and I get an immediate alert if he gets out of bed. So far no false alarms. Your mattress idea is a good one also.