Does anyone else care for someone that sleeps most of the time, yet is mentally "on it" majority of the time?

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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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