How can we get Dad to go to bed?

5 answers | Last updated: Nov 03, 2016
Maryl asked...

My 92 year-old father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and has been living in an independent living apartment for a little over a year. Recently he has begun sleeping in his chair in the living room instead of going to bed. That means he has not been taking out his teeth or having a chance to keep his swollen feet elevated. Is this something we should worry about? We have tried a variety of possible solutions from calling to remind him it's bedtime (he totally ignores us though he's polite about it) to actually going over and waiting for him to get undressed and into bed (works for that night, but not practical to continue). Every once in a great while he will actually go to bed on his own. Maybe it's getting closer to assisted living which we've been trying to avoid since he would not appreciate the intrusion from an outside person! Can someone give me some input on this?



Community Answers

Pandora answered...

At 92 if you want to eat ice cream for breakfast and sleep in your arm chair why not. I dont see anything wrong with it, except the fact that it makes you uncomfortable. As long as someone is checking on him day to day I wouldnt worry about that at this time. As people age and with Alzheimers all kinds of things change. Sleeping in the recliner is not one of the things to worry about. However, If you start to fear for his safety at any time it may be time to seek an assisted living. Change is hard at any age, but at 92 it is exceptionally hard. If you need to transition him to an assisted living for peace of mind, make sure he feel that he is a part of the decision, even if he really isnt. Also look at the Assisted livings with out him and pick two to show him. Overwhelming to a 92 year old. Also when you show him an assisted living dont point out all the things that you think would be great for him. Walk in his shoes, see what he is interested in, whether it be an activity they have, or another male he can bond with and show him it from that respect only. I believe in keeping one in their home as long as possible unless their safety is at risk. And in the grand scheme, falling asleep in your armchair with your teeth in, what real harm is it going to do at 92. I have worked for assisted livings and dealt with dementia professional for 20 years. Hope this helps. And remember the things that bother you and your family may be meaninless to your father.
Smiles Jenn


A fellow caregiver answered...

Thank you so much for your input. Each time something changes with my father, I think it worries /bothers me until I see it as you suggested and realize he should be able to mostly do things as he wants!But things came to a head when we had to take him to the emergency room a couple weeks ago. His feet were swollen even worse (as I understand it, it has to do with ongoing congestive heart failure);the water retention, etc. was effecting his electrolite balance and his blood pressure, so that he was almost passing out and unable to move. We decided that it was time for assisted living. We are lucky that he is already in a retirment community, where all you have to do is say you want assisted living and you can stay in your own apartment with just more help (albeit for a price!) The doctor has repeatedly said he needs to put his feet up which he didn't even do during the day. Now the aides are reminding him (it takes twice!) at around 12:30 PM to go to bed and it seems to be working.His swollen ankles are down. They also take care of all meds, which is a relief to me! Otherwise he is pretty much still om his own. We were avoiding assisted living for as long as we could, partly because we had been managing ourselves without the added cost, and we were worried he wouldn't like added interference. But the transition was a good one. So, until the next problem, things seem good!


Pandora answered...

Well it seems that things are going well then. Medication management is a key that a lot of families overlook, once someone else is responsible for it you may see his swelling going down too just bc he takes his medication reguarlly. Hey I have to remind my father at 65 to put his feet up to rest also. hang in there and take peace of mind that other than being there every second which no one is capable of you are doing the best for your father and helping his quality of life emensly :)


Profcare answered...

Bob's Furniture sells an armchair with a simple mechanical button to press so that one can be reclining with feet automatically up and with an "elevator" feature to assist in getting to standing position. Many of my clients love this. I provide in home care as a CHHA. Having an aide in home is much cheaper than assisted living and allows for personal care in familiar environment. Aides are supervised by registered nurses.


Yamatal answered...

I am a registered nurse. It is actually better for the aging to sleep in a chair rather than laying down in a bed. Their lungs remain clearer when sitting up rather than laying down. If your father wants to sleep in the chair let him. Make sure his feet are reclined and that you have warm socks on them at all times. I also recommend that he has a robe on as well as a warm blanket tucked in around his hip area. This will keep him from wanting to get up during the night. The better he sleeps in a position that he's most comfortable the better he will be in the morning.