My 82 year old mom with mild dementia fell and broke her hip. Hip surgery was done successfully and after anesthesia wore off she was doing good. Mom was moved to a rehab hospital and in the beginning was doing good with physical therapy. She was very tired but doing well. A week later, mom started sleeping all day, losing interest in food and refused to participate in physical therapy. We started noticing that she wasn't really sleeping, she just wouldn't keep her eyes open and wouldn't feed herself. In our opinion mom was playing "possum". If family was with her in PT, we would have to nudge and prod and fight her to keep eyes open and participate. In mid action she would close eyes and pretend to be asleep.
Prior to the fall, mom could walk on her own, feed herself, dress herself, go to the bathroom, watch tv, go out to eat. She didn't cook, or drive, and we didn't leave her alone. Her overall health was pretty good. Mom had quadrupple bypass 15 years ago, and had been diagnosed with aortic stenosis about 5 years ago. Although she had slowed down over the last couple years, mom still was able to join my dad and brother in a deer hunting trip in the Sierras and go boating on the lake!
According to the Dr, mom is fine and he continues to blame it on the dementia. Supposedly basic labs are good :no anemia, infections, or issues going on. The only meds she gets are those for blood pressure, cholesterol, hypothyroid, blood thinner-for hip surgery, and vitamins. She does have allergies so they were giving her Claritin. No pain meds or tranquilizers.
We have to force her to keep eyes open and spoon feed her. Cognitively she seems ok. Mom does have some trouble with following directions, but if shown how to do things she does just fine. She will tell you if she has to go to the bathroom, but doesn't know to call for the nurse. Mom can walk (with assistance) and does it well when she wants to. Although she doesn't remember the fall, or that she broke her hip, she does know that she is in the hospital and can even tell you the name of it.
We requested the Claritin be stopped in hopes of that being the reason for the grogginess. It was worth a try. So far it hasn't made much difference. There are brief times of normalcy. Mom will laugh, talk, be engaged in the conversation, take a few bites if we tell her to, but then the sleepiness will start. The minute we see her hand go to her head and eyes close we know she isn't going to participate anymore.
Clearly she isn't ready to come home, but we would love to have her there. We are at a loss of what to do. Hospital Dr and staff are disinterested in helping and offer no suggestions. Mom is moving out of the hospital today and in to a skilled nursing facility.
Can you offer any suggestions to what is going on with mom? What can we do to bring her out of this sleepiness?? Is it increased dementia? Failure to thrive? A health issue we aren't aware of? Sleeping disorder?
Thank you for your assistance!