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My 78 yr old husband sleeps well at night, but he no sooner gets up when he's in the chair sleeping, sometimes even before breakfast! He often sleeps after breakfast until nearly lunch, then after lunch until almost dinner. I try to get him out to do things, but he says he's too weak. He also has Parkinson's which isn't helping. I don't know what to do to help him.

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So, when they just want to sleep we just let them? I have always tried to get mom up and moving, doing something, but lately all she wants to do is sleep, not eat, seems to have lost all interest in everything...I truly believe that if she lived alone she would just lay in bed until someone found her...I think her will to live is gone. But how do we deal with that? Is it ok to just let her sleep her life away? I don't know the answers, but I think we are all "scared". Hugs to you and prayers being sent your way...hang in there.
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Husband has Alzheimers. Mid 70s. He sleeps most of the time, wants to stay in bed. Sometimes he just lays there, not sure what he is looking at, he rarely puts the tv on anymore. Gets up, comes out for more juice, then back to bed. Sometimes he sleeps, I would say, about 23 hours a day. Nothing keeps him interested, as I said he seldom puts the tv on. And he might turn it off after a few minutes. At least I know where he is.....he eats in the bedroom, gets up to use the bathroom. I believe his brain cannot be stimulated enough to keep it alert, awake.
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It is possible that your husband has Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, but the more usual combination is Parkinson's and Dementia with Lewy Bodies, since both Parkinson's and DLB involve protein deposits in the brain, called Lewy bodies (for the doctor that discovered them). What kind of a doctor is treating your husband for this? Is it a neurologist well experienced with dementia?

Anyway, whatever type of dementia he has, the excessive daytime sleepiness may be treatable. My husband took Provigil for that condition and it was very helpful for years. Have you discussed this problem with your husband's doctor?

As my husband entered the end stage he began to sleep more and more, and the medication became ineffective. Eventually he sleep more than 20 hours a day.

My husband's doctor knew that his condition (Dementia with Lewy Bodies) could not be cured, but he felt strongly about giving his patients the best quality of life they could have. So he treated the excessive daytime sleepiness right up until the last stage. I am grateful for that.
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Father with alz/dementia was sleeping almost all day and night. Eat, sleep in recliner, nap, eat, sleep in recliner, nap, etc. Had covers over his bedroom windows so it was like a cave. But that seemed "normal" for someone in their nineties. Would have been great that way until the end- then went to the hospital with an infection and never walked or came home again. Spent almost 3 years in a SNF which I wouldn't wish on anyone. Passed away two weeks ago when he was almost 96. I believe sleep is just nature's way of handling old age.
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I think it is a blessing that he is able to sleep. So many caregivers are dealing with sun downing and agitation from their loved ones. Sleep is natures way of dealing with many hard parts of our lives. As we wind down I think we need more sleep, just as infants need sleep as they are growing. I would not wake my infant and my Mom can sleep all she wants - she deserves it at 90 years old.
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Letting him sleep and stay in bed is easier than trying to fight. And its surprising how strong he still is.
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I am caring for my 80 year old mother who has Alzheimers and we are suspecting also Lewy's Body Dementia. She sleeps 12-14 hours at night and then likes to dose during the day. Everything is exhausting for these poor people. Things that you and I do with minimal effort requires so much more energy to move commands and thoughts through their minds let alone getting the body to respond. You are not a bad caregiver for not making him get up and go and be involved with everything. To what degree you can, let him set the pace. A shower and meals are about all my mother can handle in a day. We just make those necessary things as pleasant as possible.
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Deefer12: I guess I should count my blessings. They always say that if everyone put their problems in a pile on the floor, you'd end up picking yours back up because it was probably the smallest in the first place! Amen! I would just like my husband to exercise mind and body more...short walks, maybe do some crossword puzzles, read....I think it would be better for his overall health. I do sympathize with your situation, though. You are a saint....I don't know if I have the stamina, patience, strength or courage to take care of my husband as his condition continues to deteriorate. This is why I am so worried...I just don't know if I can do it. I know there is help available, but until my husband can't shower, shave, toilet, feed himself, I can't get any help. In the meantime, I watch and worry and wonder how I will cope. I know it's not about me...it's about him...but I am scared; really, really scared.
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After my dad passed away, my mother who was in a nursing home with dementia, started losing weight quickly. The nursing home put her on 15 mg. of remeron every day to help stimulate her appetite. She soon started eating better. I brought her to live with me and all she wanted to do was sleep. Her new doctor here is working with me to get her off some of the medications that the nursing home had her on. It's been a very slow process but I am starting to see her be a little more wakeful and responsive since we have taken her off the antidepressants and reduced the dosage of some of her meds. She still wants to go to bed at 8 pm and sleep until 10 or 11 the next morning and then naps throughout the day in the recliner. She can't walk at all, so I don't have to worry about her wandering but it bothers me that she doesn't talk and is so fatigued all the time. I try to do a little PT with her to keep her strong enough to transfer from bed to her chair but it's really hard to motivate her. I am afraid that sleeping so much is causing her to lose her physical ability that she has left to help me transfer her and especially for her to be able to toilet. I don't know what the answer is. I just know that this is so hard and so draining for the patient and the caretaker. Blessings to you all for caring for your loved ones.
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I have the opposite problem with Mom . She is 85 and was diagnosed with Parkinsons over 12 years ago. She has been suffering from dementia for about 7 years and I have been taking care of her at home for the last 5 years. She is nonstop energy and needs 2 seroquel to sleep at night. she is in a wheelchair for the past year and a half due to bad falls because of weakness from the PD and the inability to understand what is safe and what is not. She will not nap during the day, but is in adult day health now, 4 days/week and home on Wednesdays. Some days she is exhausted when I get her home, so I put her to bed for a "rest" and she does not sleep. hands and feet and mouth going the entire time.
I had to Mom-proof the house as she will reach out and grab anything in her path as we go by! She was OCD her entire life, so it's 10 times worse now. this is the main reason i keep her home, as they would drug her to the max so that she could not get up on her own. restraints are not an option in facilities, but they do like to use chemical restraints. Mom is still happy at home, but a lot of work to lift and feed and wash and dress. she is so easily distracted, that it takes a half hour or more to even feed her.
I recently cut as much sugar out of her diet as I could as an experiment. She was getting way too many UTIs and was allover in her behavior. Without all the sugar the paid giver fed her to fatten her up, Mom's comprehension has improved to where it is noticeable by everyone who works with her. Also, since bacteria feeds on sugar, her diapers are no longer dark in color and smelly.
Scared, in a way I have to agree with the comments by those who feel lucky their loved ones sleep a lot. I have the other end of the spectrum and it sure is one hell of a ride!!
I know it's scary and you would like to spend more time with him, but be thankful he is not running away or keeping you up all night. Leanne has some great advice on the subject and maybe you should talk to his doctor about something to help keep him awake more. Good Luck!
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