Dementia: Fears and Nightmares

Maureen showed her fears about a man, or men, in her bed again last night.  She went to bed early on and I joined her a couple of hours later after watching T V.  As I slipped into bed beside her she let out an almighty scream and shouted out: ‘Who’s that?’  I tried to reassure who I was and console her as she sobbed for quite some time.  She also mentioned that she had: ‘told them before about strange men trying to get into her bed’.  Having this experience once gain left me shaken and wondering about a number of things.

I am wondering what is the source of these fears; even nightmares? It was something that surfaced during her six weeks in hospital, where she became very anxious about men coming into her room when she was in the Independent Care Facility.  She was clearly constantly anxious about the strange behaviour of some of the male patients in that facility.  Therefore, it is understandable that in a confused state she misread incidents.  On the other hand something may have happened that may add substance to her fears.  There is another puzzling incident that she often refers to when recalling the period following stroke.

Maureen often tells of being shifted from one hospital to another in what she describes as a cattle truck.  There is little doubt that being moved from one hospital to another late at night shook her up. Her behaviour  when she arrived at the receiving hospital was extraordinary, claiming she had been: ‘transported by crooks and none of them were to be trusted’.

I suppose I will never get to the bottom of  these anxieties about men: they will remain for the rest of her life.  It is unlikely if the detail of the cattle truck and the crooks will ever be forthcoming.  What I can do to prevent the screams in the night is to take to the spare bed when my wife has decided on an early night.  Hearing her scream out and sob is no way for either of us to get a decent night’s sleep.

2 thoughts on “Dementia: Fears and Nightmares

    1. As we all know the consequences of domestic violence are considerable. I sincerely hope that this part of her memory fades as soon as possible. I try to bombard her with pleasant memories of the past. Slowly slowly of course ………


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