My 90-year-old grandmother is sleeping much more and looks lethargic. What can I do for her so that she has more energy?

Asked by

She is 90 years old and I am finding her asleep in her chair more and more or sleeping on the bed during times when she would usually be awake. She does not take any sleeping meds of any kind.

Walking is hard for her, but she used to be able to manage short distances. Now just a walk around the house or some stairs is very hard for her.

Today it took notice with everyone in my family. I found my mother (who is an R.N.) and sister crying together in the kitchen telling me how she does not look good anymore and how she (grandmother) tried to walk around the house but it was too much for her.

It's happening too quickly. She hasn't been like this less than a month ago.

Any insight/opinion is greatly appreciated for me to find a way to maybe put some pep back into her or anything that could help. Thank you.

Answers 1 to 10 of 31
I'm having the same issue with my Grandmother. She is tired all the time. I've been trying to encourage her to get up and move around but she just says "I'm too tired." or "i'm to weak right now." I'm not sure what to do either. I feel for you and your family.
my dad sleeps alot , with his dementia - he owuld sleep for few days and be big bright eyes for few days , he can not walk and does not want to excerise his legs iether , leave me alone he says , zzzz
it could be just a spur of a moments to be awake or sleeping . it could be signs of body slowing down too . check her blood pressure and check her oxygene and see where shes at . take her to doctor to find out whats happening to her ?
Thank you gryheart and I hope the best for you, your famliy and that your grandmother feels better.

Linda, taking her to the doctor this week is something I want to do, but I really do not want my grandmother to hear the doctor say stuff like how she is old and slowing down. I feel that if she gets that in her mind she will die. It's risky.
what i do i write something on the paper that i do not want my dad to hear me say , dr will write me back , acts like he s writin in his paper work , works like a charms . i lay that paper on the counter top and he leaned over and read it , or u could have someone to go with you and take her out of the office and doc could fill u in ?
That is a great idea. I hope he goes along with that and if not I will just inform one of his assistants/secretary about my concern and hopefully it works out. Thank you.
Top Answer
I would suggest what Linda said as well. My Grandmother has an appointment with her doctor in September and have planned to go a few days before her and talk to him about my concerns so that he can assess her without her knowing. She can be a bit of a hypercondriac. Then later I am to go back and discuss this stuff with him. It's strange for me to be treating her the way I would treat my children. Its unnerving that this woman who was once strong and independent now needs me for everything. I can't imagine how she must be feeling. Especially since this happened all of a sudden. Just two weeks ago she was able to cook herself breakfast and now she can barely walk accross the living room without fear of her falling. It saddens me greatly.
ask her doctor if maybe theres something you can change in her diet, some foods give more energy than others.
also you may need to start to prepare yourself for the dreaded day she passes.dont overthink it, talk to her doctor...good luck..hang in there, its hard to watch this..
It could be a temporary thing. My 89 years old Mom cycles between wanting to sleep 24/7 (having to be woken for meals, to the toilet, etc) for days at a time, then cycles back to full energy.

If she is getting proper nutrition and proper caregiving (which she obviously is) I would be inclined to let her be. Hugs
Since she is sleeping more, could she be eating and drinking less? Even mild chronic dehydration can have a dramatic effect on energy, cognition and depression!
ok, try a total drug holiday. Get doctor's permission to take her off some drugs immediately, some have to go off gradually. At this point, there is little to lose. Drugs in elderly build up and then make them groggy or interact with another drug. The criteria for this is called Beers Criteria or Beers List (after a doctor noted for taking nursing home residents off drugs and then represcribing just those needed. Other aspects of this are replacing long acting drugs with fast acting versions as the faster ones clear from body quicker.

There are over the counter meds that are also troubling, esp benedryl, the allergy med. That is the part of the pain meds used also for nighttime sleep aide.

Always check for a UTI in this instance of sudden weakness or confusion.

The drug elimination is the one thing you can do that might make a major difference...and obviously it costs NOTHING. Zocor, benedryl, Ditropan, Ativan, Namenda, Zoloft, Seroquel...all are drugs that had major memory and alertness and also psychotic problems for my mother. She is now on...NOTHING.

And your mother is an RN? Ask her if she knows about Beers Criteria. I think I've asked every caregiver I've worked with if they knew about it, and no one has. Amazing. Check BP, blood sugar too...

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support