Adjusting to Upstairs Room

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Tristensnana
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Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/2/2016 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new on here and really need help. My sister and I have shared the care of our mother for three years now who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago. My sister lives in another state and we each get her for three months at a time, not ideal but the only way we can last at this. My sister's home is one story, mine is two-story. I had a stairlift put in at the beginning of this which mom works just fine. Problem is, now that the Alzheimers has really geared up she thinks her room upstairs is a totally separate place and she is alone. She wakes up in the night confused, gets up in the morning confused and agitated about where she is. I can't change the sleeping arrangements. It is what it is but I don't know how to help her. She sometimes calls me on my cell phone from her cell phone telling me she doesn't know where she is and someone needs to come get her. Just wonder if anyone else has ever been through this and what you did about it. It is emotionally exhausting!!!!

Red_34
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   Posted 1/2/2016 11:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Is your bedroom on the main floor? Do you have kids on the main floor as well? Please expand on the houshold dianamics so we can understand better.

When my Gma lived with us, we actually built a bedroom in the basement for my husband and I so she could be on the main floor. My kids were on the main floor as well and that seemed to help her with orientation.
SHERRY
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Tristensnana
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Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2016 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Our bedroom is on main floor. All the other bedrooms are upstairs. We live in the south so no basement and no other room on main floor to turn it into a bedroom. Her room upstairs has it's own bathroom attached to it. This arrangement has been going on for three years now. It is just now becoming an issue. I don't know how long this will last so I just cannot ask my husband to move upstairs and I won't sleep up there without him.

jujub
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 1/3/2016 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Unless there is some major reason you can't make the upstairs bedroom your new "master", I think that would probably be easier than trying to sleep every night waiting for your mom to get up confused and fall down the stairs. That seems inevitable to me. Your mother is probably not going to get any less confused with time.
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Tristensnana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2016 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I so appreciate your input. The stairs is definitely an issue. We have a stairlift and thank God, so far she remembers how to use it. We have talked of trying to put some kind of gate across the top so she can't attempt to come down or God forbid, fall down the stairs. If I could have foreseen this 23 years ago when we built this home we would have built a one story. I just cannot ask my husband to move all of his things upstairs to a much smaller room. We just bought an expensive bed for our backs for our room. All of our things are there. I know it doesn't make sense. He has sacrificed enough to let mom live here with us and has been so good about it. I just can't ask him to do that.

Steve n Dallas
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4774
   Posted 1/4/2016 3:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Odds are it doesn't matter where she sleeps....she'll still feel confused.

Tristensnana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/4/2016 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
The only thing I know to do is redirect her to her bed. Reorient her to the fact that it is bedtime and maybe sit in her chair a minute by the bed and read her a Psalm out of her Bible to calm her, pray for her , then say goodnight.

Steve n Dallas
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4774
   Posted 1/7/2016 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Off the top of my head... Maybe if her room was full of colorful photos, artwork etc that when she wakes up they might help her to know where she is... Maybe the artwork could go with her when she stays with your sister.

Tristensnana
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/7/2016 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   
When we sold her house, I brought all of her bedding, her curtains, family pictures on the walls that were in her home. I changed that whole room to look like her home. I bought her a powerlifting chair and a TV with cable for her room. So the whole room was transformed with all of her own things. As I was writing early in the morning she just called my name from upstairs. Said she had been at that motel all night, said my husband's brother had brought her there. No one here but us three. I thought about making some signs in the room that tells her she is in my home and safe.

Patty123
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 10/13/2016 2:16 PM (GMT -7)   
First Tristen's Nana,
Let me say that you and your sister are wonderful daughters to take care of your mother this way.

When my mom died, it was decided at the funeral my dad would move from NJ to DE to stay with me. Both my siblings worked, so this seemed to be the logical solution to them.

We also had a two-story house, so I turned our den into my dad's room. It was really dreary at first, but I tore out the carpeting, so he wouldn't trip with the walked, and I put in a card table 4 feet from the tv so he could watch it.

I would be concerned about the steps. There are gates that are stronger than ordinary baby gates that can actually be attached to your walls. I kept the doors to the garage and basement locked, so he wouldn't open them and fall down the stairs.

Even though your mom is upstairs, I would still "adult proof".

If your mother can still understand notes, you could put notes on her door and in her bathroom to remind her where she is. We had a cat, Will, that seemed to understand my dad needed him, so he hung out with him all the time. The other cats were aloof.

Patty

JaSanne
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 10/16/2016 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I would be very concerned that if a gate is put up at the top of the stairs, she may actually try to climb over it and fall. Disoriented Alzheimer patients don't think logically and realize the danger of their actions. My dad would have been either climbing over or taking it apart. At this stage of the disease, there's only so much you can do - she would probably be disoriented even if she were in her own home with everything just like it was. My dad didn't recognize his own home when he had an infection that ramped up his dementia - he thought "home" was when he was a boy and he wanted to go to that home and tried getting there on foot.

You may be entering a time when you need outside help, whether it be sitters who take shifts to stay with her day and night or a nursing facility with an Alzheimer's unit. My dad's medical needs just became too immense for him to stay with us or us to stay with him.
56 yr. old--CD over 44 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries
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