The bigger problem is that your husband is wandering and if he can get out of the house, he can kill himself in short order. Or if turns the stove on, there is potential to start a fire. The hazards are endless. There comes a time with dementia where placement is necessary, and that time may have come for your husband. You want to keep him home as long as possible, but he also has to be safe. Wandering means he's not so safe unless you've locked up all the chemicals, put bolts on the outside doors where he can't reach them, have taken the knobs off the stove, have turned the circuit breakers off in the kitchen so he can't turn on any appliances, and lots of other things too numerous to mention.

You can dress him in an Alzheimer's anti strip suit with a Depends on underneath it. So when he gets up in the night, he won't be able to take the suit off and urinate on the floor. That solves the one issue, but not others.

Here is a link to bed alarms available on Amazon:

Keep in mind that when it goes off, you'll be awakened as well. Staying up all night attending to a wandering dementia patient means both of you will be sleep deprived come morning.

Wishing you the best of luck with a very difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to lealonnie1

I have struggled with the same issues with my father. I retired early and moved in with him when my mother passed away after an extended battle with cancer. Due to her own illness, she basically let him do as he wanted. These are the things that have worked for me in mitigating the nighttime wandering and toileting issues.

I installed security cameras in the main areas of the house, including his bedroom. There are several brands that are very reasonable. I installed Wyze cameras which do not require a monthly fee (as long as you do not need extended recording). The cameras can be set to alert your phone when there is movement and the alerts can be disabled when desired (I keep the alerts off in the daytime). You can also view the live video from the cameras on your phone to determine if he is just turning over or getting out of bed. I am not sure if you share a bedroom with him. If you do, this solution may not work for you.

As others have mentioned, limiting fluid intake in the evening has helped. My father will drink whatever you give him, even to the point of vomiting up the excess. Keeping up with his fluid intake assures that he stays hydrated without allowing him to overindulge.

Finally, adjusting his medications (of course through his physicians) has helped. Adding Seroquel and melatonin at night has helped to calm him and allows him to sleep through most nights (combined with limiting daytime naps).

As we all know, as soon as you solve one problem, another presents itself, but these tactics have worked for me (for now).
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Reply to MC1965

Please don’t underestimate the dangers of wandering. My aunt, while dealing with Alzheimer’s, escaped her home during the night, despite a very elaborate lock and security system. She distributed a lifetimes collection of jewelry all over her neighborhood and was found in a ditch. Wandering is scary and a sign that he’s not safe there any longer. And I’m truly sorry you’re both going through this
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Daughterof1930

Below is a link to the bed alarm that I've had since last November. It's been a lifesaver!

I place the pad on the bed underneath a cloth incontinence pad (link below) that I also got on Amazon. Where you place the alarm pad will determine when it goes off. I place it where it's underneath my mother's shoulders just below the pillow so that when she lifts herself up, it goes off and I can get to her before she's able to stand.

Keeping it under the cloth incontinence pad helps to keep it in place while my mother is lying on it and she doesn't even notice that it's there.

Amazon also sells the alarm pads that go on the floor by the bed or wherever to alert when they stand up, if that's a better option.

They are well worth the money.

The actual alarm is not in the pad but is in a handheld monitor that you can carry around, even outside and you can adjust the volume. I turn it up to full volume when I take it outside but otherwise use a lower volume. When it goes off, my mother rarely even hears it because it's not in the room with her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to southiebella
Peghill100 Aug 5, 2022
Very helpful!
I used a bed pressure pad to alert me when wife got up. Also used a simple 2 piece baby monitor that would let me hear movement or sound when I was in the kitchen area.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Robtw44

My husband didn't wander, thank goodness, but he did pee in all the wastebaskets in the house. Wouldn't use a urinal at nite, so I put a very large tall wastebasket lined with a plastic liner by his bed, and for a time he would sit on the side of the bed and urinate in it. Put plastic and bath towels down the side of the bed to protect bed and floor. I don't know if this will help, but I wondered after he died if he saw all of the wastebaskets as toilets since they were all white and lined with plastic bags.
I had a baby monitor by his bedside which would rustle and flash red lights on my receiver if he got up or moved around much. Of course, I slept with one eye open, but as caregivers we do that anyway.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to jaypy22

And how is waking up in the middle of the night going to work for you? For safety sake, he needs an awake caregiver
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MACinCT

My Dad had this behavior when we were beginning his Lewy Body Dementia journey. Dad had REM sleep behavior disorder. He was actually asleep when this was happening. He couldn’t take anything sedative, but when he went on the excelon patch, his sleep was better regulated and it stopped. Maybe talking to a specialist about it would help: cognitive neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist, sleep doctor.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to abcisco

I bought a floor activated bed alarm similar to what they used at my Dad’s rehab. He did not have dementia, but was forgetting his strength limitations during recovery from a broken hip, so they used a bed alarm. I think I bought it from Amazon. It ran on battery power and I had an alarm unit on my nightstand that would go off. You can also try having urinal bottles tied to the bed so he can reach them and a baby monitor if you are a light sleeper and would hear him if he gets up. If you are interested in more info on the floor alarm you can PM me and I will look it up in my Amazon records. It worked well.
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Reply to jemfleming

Urinating around the house is a problem but wandering is a bigger problem. He may need a sitter at night to redirect him to the bathroom and to keep him out of trouble.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Taarna

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