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Mom is 84, and the dr. and I believe she is in the beginning of dementia. Most of the time, she is right on top of things, but occasionally something will send "red flags" up for me. She also hears "music" at three different places at times, here at my house where she has been living for over 15 months, at her house 200 miles away, and at the hospital in my town and says "you say I need hearing aids and you (me) can't hear that music". If I don't get her up or she doesn't have to get up for an appt. she would sleep 20-21 hours a day. It seems to increase about 1-2 hours per day every year for the past 3-4 years at least. Has anyone else noticed this? She had a sleep study and it just showed restless leg syndrome. She is on meds and then doubled the meds. She says she sleeps more soundly, but to me she sleeps just as much. As a side note, we have an appt. with an elder lawyer for a free consultation in less than 2 weeks. Wish us luck please. Thanks everybody for all of your responses. Sometimes even when it's not my question, it just what I needed to hear!

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Stuckinmiddle: Whether you realize it or not, you've just answered your own question=DEPRESSION means she's shutting out the mental illness by shutting down and that is sleeping. How do I know this? I live with someone (my husband) whose mental illness is inherited clinical depression.
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My dad was on meds for restless leg syndrome and he would fall asleep at a red light when he drove med was stopped and so did the falling asleep so fast when he stopped at a red light.
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What's that old phrase? "A body at rest, tends to stay at rest?" My mom's dementia started to kick in at 84 and her naps started to be a bit more frequent. But nothing abrupt. It was 'age-related decline.' Has your mom always been really active and her sleeping pattern changed abruptly? At the same time there was any medication change? My mom didn't realize that she was moaning because it was (to her) a normal response. She had some arthritis that got a bit worse with age. She was used to it.

Does she have a TV in her room? Is there any activity at the house? Even when my mom couldn't walk well any more, she was pretty interested in TV or watching the dog, or us doing things. There was always 'household noise' to keep her awake. :)
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My husband has Parkinsons and dementia early stage I, but starting to progress. He will be 71 in September. He sleeps 16-20 hours a day and insists hes not depressed, we laugh and walk when he is awake. He was walking with me and doing his voice exercises and now he doesnt want too. I dont have any answers, but i do know its frustrating not knowing what to do.
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Have you thought of finding a day care program for her - get her involved with other seniors during the day = even for half a day - because seniors gain from being with other seniors - they gain a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and a sense of intimacy if they have conversations. Not an exercise program at the hospital - it's not at all the same. It could become 5 full days a week. She could be very bored. That happens with dementia as well and then they sleep. That happens with people with hearing deficiencies. I have restless leg syndrome and I cannot sleep unless I take a pill for it, but I can be groggy in the morning or not want to get up. I can't imagine what 2 pills does to a senior (who are more sensitive to medications) who is on other meds as well? Check with your pharmacists - that's something that our family does. We take all of our meds to the pharmacy and spread them out on the desk for a pharmacist consultation. They know the interaction of meds very well.
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Does she have atrial fribulation? This causes tiredness
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I would let her sleep when you are not bringing her to activities. She seems to be as active as she can be right now. This, too, may change. At one point my husband slept 14-16 hours each day, then he stopped and only slept 8 hours and then he was up all night. There is no predicting, but the less confrontation the better, I say.
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I have been caring for my aunt for the past year. She is 84 and gets at least 12 hours of sleep at night (and into the morning). After breakfast/lunch and reading the mail she says: "I am going to take a little nap" and goes to her favorite easy chair and "naps" until she either has to go to the bathroom or I wake her for dinner (6pm). She will respond to people in the house and do exercise if asked, but not on her own. I have offered to play cards, read to her, take her places and she refuses. Her lack of interest in anything is concerning. Others have said that she may be depressed, her husband passed away 6 months ago. I don't have any answers - just adding to the group of caregivers that have similar issues
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Sleeping 20-21 hours a day is NOT NORMAL. It is either the meds she is taking or depression which will not show up on any test. Sleeping a lot with no other clinical tests that are "normal" indicates a clinical depression and is typical in those that are beginning dementia. The normal connections in the brain are not making their correct connections. Have her seen by a neurologist and increasing meds is never a good thing with this sleeping behavior.
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Can my mother apply for medicaid now before entering nursing home? She lives with me and receives minimal SS per month, only income. I want to keep her as long as possible, but need to be ready as she now has other health issues.
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My mom had a couple of songs that would play in her head. At first she thought it was the neighbors upstairs. We didn't hear anything and occasionally she would tell us the songs were playing and she would even hum what she heard. Psychiatrist said not common but nothing to worry about. She was on pain killers, antidepressants and anxiety meds. It lasted about 6 months and we haven't heard her talk about it since.
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I was told by a doctor they had a med that could peep my husband up to keep him awake I believe a regular timed day is important wake up turn TV or radio on or vido yoga give pill sing a cherry song open the blind let the sun shines in put a bird feeder in window let mother nature wake her up let her nap give her breakfast hopefully in a bright dinning area with nice window if not on deck sit with her with your bk or coffee let her nap have church send volleenter to visit once a day if not personal friends let her nap feed let lunch not a lone yes let her nap dinner talk to her this doesn't work well you tryed oh if your too busy don try feel bad hire a nurse to do this its better on you
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She had seen her cardiologist just a couple of months ago and I showed him how little she had exercised. We see her Geriatric dr. on Tues. and I always send notes. I mentioned/suggested in the notes about a geriatric phychiatrist and also PT and that she had gone about 13 mo. ago for PT. He is usually real good about listening to my suggestions, first dr. I have found to do so. Also, mentioned the BP for exercise to him as I also show him the exercise notes and medication list. The antidepressant did help some, but sometimes I wonder if she now jokes some, first time in her life with me or my son, if it is because she gets confused, or if it really is silliness? Great ideas for me to think about. Keep them coming. Thanks. My son & I "ran away" yesterday for a fun day, and believe me we both enjoyed it and talked about it some. Mom is really moaning today, which she does most of the time since she has been down her and she doesn't even know why she does it usually. Prior to her coming down her, she would have complained about anyone making such noise or trying to get such attention.,
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Has the anit-depressant seemed to have helped any? If not, maybe it is the wrong medicine for her. When was that last discussed with her doctor? Depression is enough to keep one in bed, and then an unhealthy pattern is established. Who prescribed the med? If it was a GP or internist you might consider taking her to a specialist, such as a geriatric psychiatrist. This might be especially helpful since she seems to be in early stage dementia.

As my husband declined (with dementia) he slept more and more. I learned that sleeping more than 20 hours was a sign the end was near. That really doesn't sound like it applies in your mother's case, though.

It does sound like the proverbial vicious cycle. She sleeps a lot, her muscles get weak, she sleeps even more because of weak muscles, and on it goes. Also, arguing with a 7 yo sounds like dementia. Her judgment is impaired. She makes bad decisions about not exercising, her muscles get weaker, she stays in bed longer, get gets no stimulation, her cognitive abilities decline, she doesn't recognize she needs to be up longer, and here we go round the cycle again.

I like ff's suggestion of consulting her cardiologist for a thorough eval, and possibly an order for some rehab. I wonder if in-patient rehab might break into this vicious cycle she has going.

Another possible resource is a sleep clinic. I think I'd start with someone to deal with her depression/dementia, and her cardiologist first. Keep a sleep clinic tucked in the back of your mind if those approaches don't help.

I wish you luck in dealing with this. Please keep us posted.
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One side effect of lying in bed so much is that it will weaken the muscles, thus the reason your Mom is too tired to even sit up for any length of time. Wonder if her primary doctor could write a script for rehab? I bet some of her muscles are frozen from non-use that are painful unless she lays down.

On another point, that is strange that your Mom's blood pressure doesn't go up after doing exercises... I would have a cardiologist check that out because just walking up stairs would make everyone's blood pressure go up. Even get a second opinion from another cardiologist.
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I do believe she has been depressed most of her life. I finally got her new dr. to put her on some antidepressants about 10 months ago, and then he increased it about 6 months ago, but when asked she will say she's a positive person and others are negative. I think mom sleeps some because then others won't ask her to do anything, but I haven't asked much of her anyway and there's no one else down here to ask her to do something. Unless it's in the middle of the night, as far as the evenings and weekends, she just lies in bed still. She tells me during the week she sleeps, or like one day she got up about 2pm to go to the bathroom, laid back down for a few minutes, fell asleep and got up about 4:45pm to eat lunch. Usually we're home by then, but that day didn't get home until about 5:15pm. This wasn't a real unusual day. She can't hardly sit up more than a couple of hours at a time. The doctors she sees are about 1 1/2-2 hrs away and she will sleep in the car most of the way. If I try to keep her up for a few minutes, like between taking her medicine and getting supper on the table, 15 min. or less, she gets angry, very grouchy at me, and goes and lies down again. True, she's had some health problems, but they've all been checked out, and at the time there doesn't appear to be anything that should cause this. She was active when she was working and when my son was little (he's 7 now), etc. but it seems like even in the last 3-4 years she has gone from sleeping 15-16 hours a day to 19-21 hours a day. None of the tests have shown any reason. WE try to get her to go to senior fitness 3 days per week where she does like a (she calls it a step exercise, but it's where she sits and her arms move back and forth and she her feet move back and forth) and after a year, the most she has done is 37 min., lately it's been 20 minutes. It's sometimes a fight to get her to go. She rides like a city "bus" van and is gone at the most 2 hours. She frequently has the hospital (where the exercise is) call the bus to come and get her early because she is too tired to sit up that long. I try to have her go also so she will get some sunshine and see other people. The exercise is for seniors and is not difficult. Her blood pressure rarely rises after doing it. She seems to be totally exhausted after going to the bathroom. I don't know if that has anything to do with anything. Thanks for the questions and any suggestions. Mom has never joked around, but will on rare occasions, but she will also get very angry at my son at times, so sometimes it's like having 2 children and I can't hardly take a shower or get dressed if they are both awake at the time.
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You say she'd sleep 20 hours if you didn't get her up. How is she when you do get her up, or she gets up for an appointment? Does she have a fairly normal day or does she keep falling asleep?

Are you sure she sleeps all of the time she's in bed? Might she be lying awake thinking of things or even reading or doing puzzles? (I am just trying to distinguish between being in bed 20 hours and sleeping 20 hours.)

Does she seem to be sad or depressed? How is her general demeanor and mood? Does she have activities she likes to do when she is awake?

Has there been a recent trauma or loss in her life?

Sorry I have only questions, but maybe if you flesh out the picture a little someone will recognize a pattern and have a more specific response for you.
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Just the resless leg medicine was doubled. A few months ago her blood pressure medicine was decrease, so it is at the lowest. She doesn't have her hearing aids in when she hears it and it started before she even had her hearing aids. I just think 19-21 hours a day sleeping and still being exhausted is a lot. But I appreciate you thinking of different possibilities.
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One has to realize when when an elder gets into their 80's and 90's they are going to be very tired.... they lived a long life. Then add on prescription and over the counter meds where it is written on the bottle or package, will cause drowsiness.

You mentioned that your Mom's meds were doubled, or did you mean she is now taking twice as many meds? Say for example, her blood pressure meds were doubled, that would zone her out big time.... I take a bit of adjusting to get my own blood pressure meds to a comfortable doze, without me nodding off.

As for hearing music, that could be anything from a filling in a tooth [very rare] to a hearing aid picking up a music radio station. When my Mom got a new hearing aid she was picking up a talk radio show, with some adjustments it did go away.
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