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I'm so tired that I get upset with her. We've ruled out anything medical and tried so many things......from white noise, not drinking anything starting in the early afternoon, staying up later, going to bed earlier, eating less, eating more, melatonin/natural sleep aid, different types of bedding (everything cotton), excerising each time we get up, not talking at all, just going to the bathroom and getting back in bed, I'm out of ideas and I'm exhausted all of the time. She broke her hip about 3 months ago and has recovered so well, but this night time thing is awful for her, and for me. I hate to admit it but the lack of sleep is making me impatient with my Mom, whom I love so very much. She lives with me and is a wonderful lady...such a great attitude and so postiive 99 percent of the time. I feel like such a rotten daughter for not just dealing with this 'one' thing, when everything else is so good. I want to stop being impatient at night when we have to get up, so I go into another room and cry and then come back and lay down to try to get some sleep. Tonight I'm writing this note to see if anyone has any other ideas or things that you've tried that may work for us. Oh, and Mom is 94 and has short term memory dementia. Prior to her fall and broken hip, she stayed in her own room so I have no idea if she was getting up so many times during the night before. I guess I feel even worse because there are so many other people out there with such worse situations than me, that I should be happy that we have it so good.

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Please don't feel guilty. You are under incredible stress from lack of sleep. Your mom's short term memory issues may be dementia of the Alzheimer's type and the trauma of a broken hip and subsequent hospitalization may have pushed her dementia farther down the road. This is a documented issue with hospitalized elders, especially those with AD.
Your mom is remarkable to have recovered this well from a broken hip at her age. Statistics about this would make a complete, long term recover quite rare.
First of all, of course, you need to talk to her doctor about this, and you should also discuss your health with your doctor. You can't keep this up. If her doctor has no better ideas, it's entirely possible that, even though you won't want to hear this, for both of you it may be time for a good nursing home where they have staff shifts who can deal with this. You are placing too much on yourself, and this will affect your ability to be a good caregiver, to say nothing of putting your own health at risk.
Who will be there for your mother if you go down? If she is in a good facility (assuming the doctor has no better suggestion), you will still be there for her as a caregiver and her advocate. Please take care of yourself. She would feel horrible if her situation damaged your health irreparably.
Take care,
Carol
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Maybe hire a night nurse? And you sleep in your own room. Cheaper than a nursinng home and you can still keep her at home. If your like me, I want to keep my mom near as long as I can take it. My health is declining from stress, but I'm going to hang on.
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I am really new to this site but have been caring for my grandfather-in-law for the last 5 years off and on but the last 2 years continuously. We had the same problem except we have a 4 year old that without fail he would wake up every single night when he made his rounds. After a few weeks the lack of sleep got to me as well! I tracked the extended potty breaks to 2 things. The first problem was that after he went to the bathroom he wasnt able to go back to sleep because there was nothing going on at 2AM. I went to Walmart and bought some glow in the dark stars that simply stick to the ceiling. I put a few around his room and a few on his ceiling fan. Now when he lays back down he can watch them until he falls back to sleep. (I did the same thing with my daughter) The second reason was he wanted to check on all of us and make sure we were breathing and havent left (which we have never done) in the middle of the night. My solution for that was a baby monitor. I put one in his room and one in ours. I told him that our end was a mic and his was just a speaker so that if anyone got up or if there was a problem he would hear it. The catch is that I never turned our end on. As long as the green light is on in his room he thinks he is able to hear everything that goes on. Then he doesnt worry about us. The monitors dont actually have to work so you could probably find a set on craigslist or worst case scenario they are like $15 new for the cheapest ones!
I know its a little dishonest but I needed sleep! We are going on month 2 of not waking up in the middle of the night!
Hope it helps!
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Hi there, I also went thru this with my mom who lives with me. She got up so many times and its drove me crazy after her broken hip and they think maybe from the catheter, never knew. Then, I went thru it with her again about a year later and it lasted almost a year. I will tell you what I did. I begged the doctor to treat my Mom for an UTI even thou the urine culture was negative, it helped off and on. Also, I have her door cut in half with a hook lock on the outside. She got up, stood there and said "hi" and went back to bed at least 15 times a night. (kind of like a Mr Ed door if you remember that show, I can see her from my bed)
3rd, she went on depakote and it relaxed her brain and she started sleeping.
(Have you listened to her, do you hear her pee?) My Mom also wen thru a stage where she dropped her pants and peed all over the floor many times!! I had to make her pajamas she couldnt get off! I think your Moms is probably just aggitation from the dementia but try them all , one WILL work!! I have to tell you, I sometimes didnt sleep more then 2 hours a night , my cna came, and I still went to work. When someone else at work told me they were tired I felt like slugging them! LOL What you are going thru is horrible, but it will end and My Mom also is/was a great Mom so I put up with it. She now sleeps 12 hours a night on depakote and she doesnt have any attitude outbursts. Hang in there, you're a fabulous daughter!
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I'd suggest getting a portable potty that you can set next to her bed. She won't have to go far to get to it so maybe she can do it herself.
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Don't minimize this, KJSpradlin. It is not "just" a getting up at night issue. That is often the critical factor that tips the decision to out-of-home placement. Sleep deprivation is, after all, used as a torture device. It is not trvial or unimportant.

Bringing in night help is one good idea for keeping Mom home. You HAVE to sleep. Get someone else in who can stay up reading or knitting and help Mom when she needs it. Get a bedside commode. Would Mom be able to handle it without your help?

But the best solution would be for Mom to sleep through the night, too. Could you convince her to wear Depends at night. If she has the urge but doesn't really produce much volume (losts of false alarms) maybe not getting up would work. But I would go back to the doctor with facts in hand. The list with when she got up, how long she stayed up, what she did. And a clear summary of what this is doing to you. If the doctor understands that solving this is what is going to allow you to keep Mom at home, and that that is very important to both of you, he or she may be able to get a little more creative in the solution.

Good luck!
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There are certain foods that help you sleep, I saw this on Dr. Oz. you gotta love that man. I can only remember MILK is one Oh and wine. Maybe check out his web site and get more info on that.
My Mom (in NH) uses the bathroom alot as well, (as I may have mentioned in an earlier posts). She didn't like the diaper issue at all, used as precautionary purposes, and when she'd go to BR she'd have to remove it so she could go. I think this confused her because at this stage she's aware of what is normal or comfortable. So then they tried pull ups, they serve the purpose and she can go the regular old fashioned way. Funny thing....she told me "these underwear are wierd but it's better than none, this is all I have now, someone stole my regular undies". At least she didn't say that I stole them, this time.
Which reminds me of a Major reason of .....why it is better for both of us that she's in a NH. She is better behaved for the staff as far as making changes in routine for her needs, even her eating habits are better. The NH says this is the way it is, to her, and she listens, no problem, when I was doing that she hated me. I am aware of all the changes and if I see a problem I address it but she just thinks she's independant and we both are less stressed.
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As a long time night nurse(RN) I know the importance of unbroken sleep and how to promote it. Always always get a bedside commode at least for nights. If you can afford the extra there are BSC's which look like attractive cushion chairs. At night, you can remove the seat so she just has to get out of bed directly onto the commode. There are plastic bags to go in the commode so you don't have to scrub every day. Also keep on hand paper blue pads to cover the to seat of the BDC. If incontinence is in bed it is useful to buy large washable bed pads especially for nights on the bed. Another factor is that protein promotes wakefulness and carbohydrates promotes relaxation and sleeping. So save the protein for lunch or afternoon snack. Myself, if I am just lying in bed too awake I get a small glass of milk and 5 gingersnaps and always go to sleep after that. Heating the milk makes a chemical that promotes sleep.Peace of the lord who will provide.
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Many elderly people develop "nocturia"- the urge to urinate many times a night. Walking to the bathroom when lightheaded, sleepy, heavily medicated, and in the dark is a recipe for disaster. In those cases we advise a bedside commode near to a SuperPole (or Friendly Bed balance pole)- a simple grab of the pole to stand and pivot onto the commode (and back onto the mattress) means no risky walking. Doesn't reduce the urge but almost eliminates the risk of a night time fall. Many people are one crash away from leaving their home forever so the right assistive products can be critical. Good luck.

Addition to my above earlier post- we work with many people with bed mobility problems and often it is the caregiver that is ready to fall apart. When your sleep is broken up you never get into quality REM sleep which your body requires for proper rest. Lots of good advise being offered but if a person can safely use a bedside commode then why torture a caregiver with sleep deprivation? Proper assistive products based on the person's abilities/disabilities can often be a great solution.
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I concur that having a bedside commode, preferably next to bed is a great, essential help. Some mobile patients have the bedside commode out of sight in the bathroom during days so it can be moved to the bedside quickly thru evening and night. There are plastic bags for the cleaning bucket which I have seen in magazine. Swishing the bucket with dilute cheapest mouthwash on a toilet brush helps kills the urine odor .I like generic lysol spray lemon or regular , or have patient pick the fragrance gives her best pleasant odor.

Home medical equipment rentals exist on line or at medical equipment stores. Medicare will pay for a basic bedside commode per a previous post. Info about rentals can come from google or any local agency on aging or geriatrician specialist.

There is a great commode that looks like a board room leather look winged back chair with a removable seat covering the bucket and a blue pad. The 'sick room' decor is so important because it is the LO's home. Many old oldsters are very modest. Keeping down the odors is crucial for a comfortable environment for patient and visitors.
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