Apply Now
RSS Feed Print
Setting a bedtime for mother with MCI
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 1:47 PM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 159

I am living with my wonderful mother 83 due to scam targeting, health concerns (lung problems, cancer treatment in March, recent stroke in Nov, and ongoing MCI I.e. loss of much executive function and very patchy memory, confusion over bills and phone calls and mail nagging for donations, no other supporters available and not safe in my opinion to drive). 

I have upended my and my own family’s lives to move in in March (husband, 2 college students and an elderly dog who is missing me the most) but we as a family are all in agreement it’s just about doable and makes sense for now.  I’ve done all the legal stuff and sorted out some issues but have decided she and I will stay in the same household, until the day comes I can’t do it anymore. DH is cheerfully onboard (good man!) and meanwhile majorly modifying our new house to meet her, and one day our ? future abilities! New bathroom, warm home etc. So far so good.  She has improved since I moved in, I think with less struggles with day to day things and my scintillating conversation no doubt (lol), plus I have got less irritated with her extreme slowness, mumbling at the tv,  rummaging in cupboards moving everything, walking on my heels in shops, etc. I tell her what to eat in restaurants or we would be there till the cows come home. 

She’s otherwise great, I read on here every day to educate myself for the future and my heart goes out to the many people dealing with much worse problems.  There but for the grace, eh?

Anyway now the tables are turned and I am tempted to “mother” my mother - she has a short nap in front of the tv at the dining table, sitting up in her chair, after lunch and dinner and that is ok. However most evenings she also sits on the sofa “watching” tv, which consists of sleeping and falling over sideways until she wakes up, then rinse and repeat.  Last night she did this the entire evening and went to bed at about 1 am.  This happens quite often. I usually go to bed and read but I can hear what she is doing.

Should I intervene each night to make her adhere to a set maximum bedtime, does anyone think? She is usually fairly amenable to me bossing, I try to do it with humour which still works for her.

Does a consistent bedtime help with PWD quality of life? I don’t want her to get up too early, but is slumping and dozing nearly all day best to be avoided in favour of lying down properly for undisturbed rest?

Our opportunities for outings etc have been severely curtailed by CoVID omicron fears, and snow, plus I have to work so she is unavoidably under stimulated right now.

Anyway thanks for reading.


Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 3:29 PM
Joined: 9/10/2021
Posts: 373

Hi Fairyland - I don't know that a set bedtime helps MIL, but routine sure does. You could maybe try getting her to bed at a particular time each evening, even if just a bit later than norm?  sorry i don't have more of a suggestion for you.
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 3:51 PM
Joined: 11/26/2021
Posts: 25

Hi Fairyland,

I feel like we are in a very similar situation. My 87-year old mother has MCI and we moved her in with us for many of the same reasons and my DH is also a saint. 

My mother always loved staying up late and sleeping late. I feel like this is more pronounced and problematic now. If we don't wake her up, she could easier sleep until noon many days. If we don't hear her moving around by 11am we wake her up. If I can remember and fit it in, I'll shake her awake at 10am, but we both work and I don't always get around to it. She often falls asleep watching television, completely slumping over, fast asleep. She then stays up very late watching TV. Before my dad died, he just let her sleep; he was up with the birds and went to bed early.

So, is this a problem? Yes and no. Part of me is happy to not having her puttering around in the morning while I'm working, and on the weekends, I crave a few hours to myself (maybe my dad did too!). But then on the weekends, my spouse will cook breakfast and suddenly, there she is at 9am wanting to eat, which really irritates me because there goes that nice together time we don't get during the week because we are both so busy working.

Her heavy sleeping has also compounded her increasing continence issues. Her bladder is so overfull when she wakes, even the Depends can't contain the rush of fluid. 

I've talked to her about it and she's told me there isn't much to watch on TV in the mornings compared to the evenings/late nights, and that's true, so what's the big deal. On the other hand her eating schedule is often completely out of sync with us and it seems she is constantly in the kitchen rummaging around. I hate when I catch downing a peanut butter sandwich 30 minutes before we're going to have dinner (that my spouse has put a lot of effort into) it really irks me. 

She is laser-focused on herself and seems oblivious to the needs or concerns of anyone else. It seems like a small complaint, but thinking about these behaviors getting worse makes me question how long we can tolerate the current living arrangement.

This isn't probably terribly helpful, but know there are other people in the same boat!

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 4:02 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 664

I found that I had to get my mom to bed for my own sanity.  The more tired I got waiting, the more frustrated I’d become.  If she wasn’t really ready to sleep yet, I’d still get her there and turn on the tv in her bedroom to keep her occupied.  At least a I had a bit to myself after dark. 

She was and still is completely dependent on my assistance in getting her to bed.  Maybe that makes it easier, but routine is key.  

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 6:19 PM
Joined: 1/10/2022
Posts: 72

Routine is so important. I am the mother to my 87 year old mother . She is completely  dependent  on me. Breakfast  is at 830 , lunch 1230 and supper at 430. Maybe a snack. Having a set time helps somewhat with her bowels. If she eats too late I'm up changing poopy briefs at 3am not cool ugh.  Left to their own devices they would fly by the seat of their pants. Structure is necessary  for her and for you as the dementia progresses. Hope that helps.

× Close Menu