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My husband won't go to bed without me. He has started wanting to go to bed earlier each night like 5 or 5:30 p.m. He gets very angry that I don't want to retire so early. What to do?

Answered by David Troxel

January 6, 2014

My husband won’t go to bed without me. He has started wanting to go to bed earlier each night like 5 or 5:30 p.m. He gets very angry that I don’t want to retire so early. What to do?

Arguing or pushing back is probably not a good strategy. Can you apply some finesse and get into bed with him until he falls asleep? Then get up again to have some of your own time?

Another strategy would build into your evening some kind of ongoing ritual—a happy hour, 30 minutes of a music program, or some kind of evening chore (organizing photos or having help fold laundry), making a to-do list for the next day. Sometimes people go to bed too early when they are bored.

My final suggestion is to play some lively music after you’ve had dinner—an evening concert so to speak. Music can lift mood and create energy and we know persons with dementia enjoy music even late into their journey.

Best wishes. I hope these ideas are helpful.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. December 11, 2014 at 07:34 am
    Posted by Missy83

    My husband wont go to bed unless I go with him. He doesnt get angry though. Mine just cant literally sleep without me. We've been together for 10yrs, married for 2yrs. Its quite funny yet very irritating because I want to stay up. I might try that trick, lay beside him for a few minutes until he falls asleep. My dog used to do it, he'd go to bed then sit there and bark once every 20secs. He was ordering me to go to bed. My husband told me to stop his habbit, but now he does it lmao! My dog is a male too...
  2. January 8, 2014 at 04:26 pm
    Posted by Joan Jakob

    My husband has vascular dementia since having a stroke 2 years ago. He exhibits "sundowners" symptoms as the evening draws near. He hates any kind of music and says he can"t stand the noise or as he calls it the racket. When he wants anything I must do it instantly. I had a bad fall in February of 2013 and finally can walk with a cane but if I don't move fast enough he will push me from behind. I am a cancer survivor for 3 plus years but on a cancer drug with many side effects. Our children work and can"t help much and really don't understand.

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