Follow
Share

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.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Perhaps people just get old and worn out. We all die.

I am a senior and was getting upset that I was so tired yet the doctor can't find anything wrong with me.

I am much happier accepting that I am just wearing out and do what I can and not worry about what I can't do.

I am at peace. Every living creature grows old and dies.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mother sleeps alot too. The more we can get her up to walk w her walker or holding hands the better also in her wheelchair motoring by herself. She likes to go out for certain things. She usually sleeps alot for two or three days then we have an outing. When she is rested she asks were can we go just to get out. She likes rides in the car with the music on. The more someone her age moves around the better as it keeps muscles toned. She can walk up steps when it is at a Chinese Restaurant. Keeping her hydrated helps too. This is in addition to seeing a good Doctor, vitamins, pills for various conditions and healthy living environment.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I'm a caregiver to a beautiful 89 yr old w/dementia. I stay with her 24/7 with a fill-in on Saturday afternoon and Sunday am till Sunday pm. She has two adult children one male one female. My client and I are on a routine, which is also becoming a little irregular due to the dementia, even so we still have a routine. She has three meals a day, she is eating less but Dr. said to supplement w/dietary drink, she is also sleeping more and states she is "just plain tired". Here is my problem...one of her adult children comes withouy little notice stating she will be staying with Mom for a few days every so often and when here begins to rearrange care and it throws both client and myself off. It was stated that "I know how Mom thinks, I've stayed with her x amount of days." Correct me if I'm wrong, but with dementia no one knows how they think or what they are thinking...right or wrong?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My 91 yr old mother has gone through this several times at a few times became so weak that I took her to the emergency room. She was showing no signs of any illness which is the primary reason I said to myself, "something is wrong and i don't know what to do". Every time I took her to the emergency room or her doctor she was dehydrated. They hydrated her intraveinously (?lol, spell?) and within 1 to 2 hr's she started pepping up. When finished she was back to normal. We have an ongoing battle about drinking 6 glasses of water per day. I'm lucky to get 2 into her. According to her doctor no other liquid will do and she hates water. The worse part of this is that they will eventually refuse to re-hydrate. It is considered to be something she can do and if she refuses insurance will not pay. At any rate, I would surely take her to the doctor and have this checked out. Coffee and tea are dehydraters. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

@ darcy..any answer to your post? Dad's doing this..just wondered.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

i am having the same problem she has ever been a big eatter maybe 2 peas now she is down to one. i give her ensure, she just says shas no appetite she will be 90 in three weeks drove until april had fall and another may tried everything wnht her feel better..................
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

i am new a caregiving, she is 90 and ive been with her almost 2 years and i think she giving up living. she dont want to do nothing but sleep, i got to wake her to eat, go to b/r . should i leave her sleep as much as she wants? she takes no meds, she dont see to good and dont want to walk with her walker, any ideas? its so sad.....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my 90 year old mother gets "weak, dizzy, sometimes nauseaus" usually about an hour after breakfast. On a good day, she walks 1/4 to 1/2 mile, but then will have a spell of several weeks when the weak dizzy nausea plagues her. Sugar tested, heart tested, blood tested, gall bladder, etc. What could it be that makes her feel so lousy sometimes?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you, linda and christina.

That is great news, linda! It made me smile when I read that.

As far as brushing her teeth goes she can do it herself with no issues, but I have to watch over her and make sure she actually does it. So I basically just lead her into the washroom and make sure all goes well before she sleeps. Her gums look a little raw so I have to make sure she doesn't brush too hard.

I can't thank you two and everyone else who posted in this thread enough for the kind words, suggestions and insight. You are all so incredibly wonderful .
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

JoeSam,
Good to hear the feedback on Grandma:) Yes, the dreaded UTI. There is an antibiotic called Macrodantin, given daily to prevent UTIs. Really helps!
Can you simply brush her teeth for her? My Mother at 94 has all her own teeth, and we brush and floss her teeth after every meal. Easy to do when they are finished in the bathroom. Just stop at the sink, brush teeth, and her tongue.
YOU are a very good Granddaughter, dear one:) Hugs, Christina xo
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

joesam , good to hear that she bounced back and is feeling better . horray .
i hate it when my dad gets sick , its heart breaking , he just had uti also and is now takin antibodi for it . was tested again yesterday and its cleared up .
youre a good person and i bet your grandma appreciates you . xoxo .
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Just wanted to give an update.

Last Saturday my grandmother was taken to the emergency by ambulance because she looked more pale than ever before and couldn't sleep well because she said she felt very very sick.

She was placed in a room by herself in the emergency section, but was later placed in a critical care room because they found out she had low blood pressure and an irregular/slow heartbeat.

One doctor suggested a pacemaker. The risks of her getting an infection later or dying on the table was something me and my mom did not want to take a chance on. We really did not know what to do until another doctor suggested a blood transfusion and that he believes her heart was most likely always slow/irregular.

Her problem was that her blood did not contain a normal amount of red blood cells so they gave her a blood transfusion with red cell concentrated blood. She was at the hospital for 4 days with me and my mom taking 10 hour shifts to stay by her side and make sure she was not alone and had someone to talk to and not get too confused or worried to what was happening to her.

Fortunately the blood transfusion improved her blood pressure and heartbeat and she came back home yesterday evening. My family and I have to keep a close eye on her for now since she has trouble walking from laying down on the hospital bed for a long time.

Also she needs to improve her fluid intake. On top of everything she also had a UTI.

So far though she looks more brighter and is not complaining of feeling ill. I go and talk to her once ever hour or two to see if she needs anything or I give her some water or juice in a small cup. We are all taking it step by step with her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Welll, even it it might be true that things are slowing down or shutting down, the doctor shoudl not just assume that without a little workup to look for infections or heart troubles or vitamin deficiences that couldbe fixed, just because she's 90. A geriatrician may be more likley to be more helpful and not blow things off, but also be very honest if there is not much more to do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1st have grandma checked out by her doctor, urinary tract infections are common in our elderly, stay hidden, and have unusual symptoms. If she checks out ok... look into some stimulation for her, look into your local senior services center or if needs require a safer atmosphere look into Adult Day Care for a couple of days a week she will have a new life, new friends, and something to do other than watching day time TV.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It is said WE go back to our child like days. AND little children do sleep more than adults. anyway.....if she / he is able to get around, I would recommend a Senior Center where she / he can spend 2-3 days a week. Kinda sounds like you have lost the "routine". I personally believe they need to get up EARLY and to bed EARLY. Do Not give them a bath/shower in the mornings....as this uses up ALL their energy and they will sleep most of the day. ALSO if they are taking a Bladder Spasm pill,,,,,,give that to them at night !! because this particular medication makes them dizzy and drowzy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Joesam - My 89 yr old Mom with severe dementia - to my knowledge - never brushed her teeth. Ever. (Any sort of cleaning was anathema to her. I have seen her wash her hair at the sink, but I have never known her to take a tub bath or shower) But I digress . . . my point is that I can't undue a lifetime of not doing - so Mom is on a 'soft' diet so as not to challenge her teeth.

Have you tried using the Colgate Wisp disposable toothbrush? These are very soft and at least accomplish some surface cleaning and result is fresher breath.

I would be hesitant re the stress of a dental visit. Even a cleaning can be stressful.

With Moms dementia I have learned the hard way to keep my fingers away from her mouth.
Of course I have also learned to stay out of striking distance when she is hostile
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

First I would like to thank everyone for their responses and suggestions. They really do mean a lot and I am going to create a checklist of everything that has been posted/suggested and go through them with my mother.

I was with my grandmother today while she was eating supper making sure she eats well and drinks plenty of fluids. She showed me how her bottom tooth is loose and the gum area looks sore/raw. Besides that all of her teeth look very bad and she has already lost a couple in the past year. I know she does not brush her teeth. It looks like she hasn't done it in a very long time. It almost hurts to look at them.

I am going to make a dentist appointment tomorrow. I just hope they don't suggest dentures. My mother told me how when my grandfather had them it was the beginning of the end for him.

She has been going to the washroom a little more, but she still looks very tired.

I really have to make sure now that she brushes, drinks plenty of fluids and has a strong diet.

Hopefully that and the combination of things to check and give her suggested by all of you wonderful people things will get better for her.

Thank you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thyroid should be checked every 6 months. Can produce the same symptoms. Also evaluate her pain level.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

To JoeSam and any others taking care of sleepy grannies:

You are in the unique position of being able to try out a simple nutritional experiment and closely observe the results, if any.

I happen to be the sole caregiver for my 105 yo grandmother. Over the years I have served her plenty of raw vegetable juices via my Champion juicer, and in the last few years, a lot of what I call "Centenarian Soup".

The key idea here is that as we age, all aspects of digestion are less effective. We chew less effectively, produce fewer digestive enzymes, less hydrochloric acid, and do less stomach churning.

So to counter that, we want to provide the most maximally bio-assimilable "Minerals R Us" foods possible without going overboard on cost and labor or bad taste.

Here is an example of my most recent soup - Cream of Broccoli:

small amt of butter and / or extra virgin olive oil to carmelize some onions

then add:

water

broccoli florets and the heart of the stem

half a carrot, sliced

small amount of cabbage

celery

spinach leaves

fresh parsley

seasoned towards the end of the simmering with some combo of pepper, boullion, paprika, chili powder (a touch)

after using the immersion blender, add small amount of sour cream, some potato flakes, and optionally milk

finally, blend again into the smoothest reasonable consistency and serve

This can turn out to be really delicious and much better than all of those V-8 soups. Instead of broccoli, the base might be asparagus, squash, or you name it.

If you are curious, you can google { kronprinz wilhelm famishing } and read about the effects of a poor diet on sailors who were at sea for 255 days. They had plenty of meat and potatos, white flour, butter and biscuits, etc, but no fresh veggies.

A quote: "The subtle, slow-moving influence of their refined and demineralised diet had not yet broken the sturdy Germans. They had no suspicion that the fruits of their raids were actually eating into their lives."

Another: "Alarming conditions began to develop. Typical symptoms of paralysis, dilated heart, atrophy of muscles and pain on pressure over nerves, with anemia, were marked. Fifty of the men could not stand on their feet. They were dropping at the rate of two a day. It seemed that a curse had descended upon the cruiser and it was plain that the whole crew was rapidly going to pieces."

Another: "Americans before the war, as far as they could afford, ate more or less generously of onions, lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, celery, apples, berries, oranges, grapes and other base-forming foods, all of which assist Nature to combat or to modify some of the evil effects of the refined diet on which the Germans attempted to thrive for a long period."

So yes, I am comparing our elders to those distraught sailors and wondering if the same remedy might work for us.

In my grandmother's case, it looks like YES!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You may also want to have her iron levels checked. Also B12 is another one.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have your grandmothers sugar level checked,she may have the un set of diabetes.My 95 year old granny has dementia it was really bad at first,the doctor prescribed Trazdone as a sleep ad to help us and her get sleep at night,and she sleeps through the night and the really bad signs of the disease have subsided.The only sign left is the short term memory,she will ask the same question over alot.But,getting back to the sugar level we have been told by a simple fasting blood test she has diabetes it can be controlled by food.We let her have diet soda instead of regular she likes it I keep snacks by her chair.She eats 5 small meals and snacks through the day and she has more energy and has started reading again and walking alot more with her walker.At age 88 she had open heart surgery so the ticker is good but 98% of the time they will develop un set or full blown diabetes. I hope this helps,granny does not need to know what they are checking for,just tell her it is part of her check up and if you are poa the doctor can call you with out her hearing anything.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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 ?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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 ?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter