Monday, May 18, 2015

How Deeply Do You Sleep

Lyn's nighttime hallucinations are increasing in frequency.

Lyn is in bed most nights by about 5pm and she'll sleep for about 15.  It is not unusual for her to get up once in the night to use the restroom.  When she's up, she often hears noises right outside her window, sometimes accusing the neighborhood children of playing there.  She may describe the roof shaking.  When she reports this to Mom, she'll describe that she was afraid of the shaking and the noises.

Mom will ask where Nikka is when the commotion is going on and Lyn confirms the dog is asleep in her bed.  Lyn knows because she occasionally comes down the hall to check.  Mom will remind her that Nikka will wake up and bark if something is going on.  She also reminds Lyn that she can come into Mom's room to tell Mom if she's scared or if something is happening.

This leaves Mom with a quandary.  How deeply should she let herself sleep?

For the past two weeks, she's been fighting an upper respiratory infection and Strep.  When she sleeps, her body has been demanding that she sleep deeply as it works to recover.  Mom has a monitor in Lyn's room which she can turn on so she can hear Lyn through the night.  During her illness, Mom's deliberately and understandably left it off.

Mom and I have been in discussion about adding some alarms to the doors.  They've never needed alarms for security sake before and the only reason to add them is so that if Lyn were to decide to wander outside the house, Mom would be alerted as soon as the door opened.  Perhaps we'll help install them for when we visit this summer.

We've not yet tried the black area rug trick on Lyn.  Because Alzheimer's patients cannot process what they're seeing or hearing well, you can often dissuade them from trying to leave by having a black run in front of a door.  They perceive it as a hole and don't step over or on it.

We anticipate that both of these measures are about to be needed.  Nikki will bark if someone comes in.  She won't alert Mom if Lyn tries to go out.

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