How much sleep do the elderly really need?

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my Father sleeps after breakfast till lunch, then after lunch till supper. he stays awake for an hour before dinner, and then, sleeps after supper till early bed time.He wants to go to bed at 7pm and then is awake at 3-4-or5 am. He does not want to read, play games, visit people, talk. He just wants to nap.

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my father is also like that before , but now I gave him an alarm clock w/c I put in his pocket that alarms at 7 a.m started to get up took his barley supplement wait for 30mins.till breakfast , set his alarm clock again every hour to drink a full glass of water , if not ,a slice of fruit like papaya water melon ,pear or pineapple to stay hydratedhe'll do this every hour till lunch ,at 1p.m ate his fruit and slept 2 hrs. at 3pm set his clock again to drink and eat every hour till 7 pm dinner time , walk a little bit around 20 mins.then sleep at 8.30p.m during midnight he eats a snack of boiled egg and sweet potato and a glass of whey,then go back to sleep untill the next morning .back then he sleeps all day without eating breakfast and lunch, that was very depressing .
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my father is also like that before , but now I gave him an alarm clock w/c I put in his pocket that alarms at 7 a.m started to get up took his barley supplement wait for 30mins.till breakfast , set his alarm clock again every hour to drink a full glass of water , if not ,a slice of fruit like papaya water melon ,pear or pineapple to stay hydratedhe'll do this every hour till lunch ,at 1p.m ate his fruit and slept 2 hrs. at 3pm set his clock again to drink and eat every hour till 7 pm dinner time , walk a little bit around 20 mins.then sleep at 8.30p.m during midnight he eats a snack of boiled egg and sweet potato and a glass of whey,then go back to sleep untill the next morning .back then he sleeps all day without eating breakfast and lunch, that was very depressing .
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My mother (66) also sleeps and watches tv most of the time. If she wakes up at a normal time, she often just lies in bed. I've asked her to shower every day, and empty the dishwasher. I say it's for exercise so she can keep her balance.

If she isn't up by noon, I tell her it's time to get up. She has lots of things she can do but doesn't do them. She won't even sit on the porch. She says she will, or she should do this or that, but then doesn't. I don't know if it is the stroke or depression. On the last doc visit, they increased her anti-depressant dosage. So we'll see if that changes anything.
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Thank you for sharing. I am so happy to know im not alone
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My mother is 98. I am 66 and care for her in her home. She sleeps a lot. The possible reason that they are so lethargic is as my Mother's physical therapist explained: Movement creates energy, if you don't move you will not have energy as the body does not store it. At 98 her therapist said she could increase muscle. She has more strength since working with both an Occupational (upper body) and Physical Therapist (lower body). Both come to the house twice a week (total of 4 days). She moving better and faster. But the key is that movement creates energy. I read on another site they need a purpose, but finding it is the key. Have you ever had them sit on the toilet, don't take the diaper down and poop. Yuck!!!!
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Tell him that you will stand around if he isn't going to take care of himself. It is tough love, but he needs it. You are just trying to take care of him and if you are going to you have to have certain expectations. Also, I don't let anyone tell me to shut up, especially if you are helping him. Tell him that the human body was made to do work and that actually we should never even sit down. This is tough, but maybe it will get him to get up. When something bad does happen to him, you are going to have to take care of him. Think that he is difficult now, what until he has a stroke or a heart attack. It happens from sitting or sleeping all the time! Be brave.
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Tell him that you will stand around if he isn't going to take care of himself. It is tough love, but he needs it. You are just trying to take care of him and if you are going to you have to have certain expectations. Also, I don't let anyone tell me to shut up, especially if you are helping him. Tell him that the human body was made to do work and that actually we should never even sit down. This is tough, but maybe it will get him to get up. When something bad does happen to him, you are going to have to take care of him. Think that he is difficult now, what until he has a stroke or a heart attack. It happens from sitting or sleeping all the time! Be brave.
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Well, I have the same problem with my dad, I am glad that I am not alone. I think it is just age, something we will have to put with. Thank you everyone for posting as this makes me feel I am not alone. I thought there was something wrong with him, but I don´t think so. Just old age. Some of your comments made me smile. Thanks.
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I am currently caring for my 87 year old mother in my home. She sleeps until noon and only wakes up because I wake her. It takes me 3 or 4 times of calleing her before she will get up. She eats a little something I have prepared for her and then goes right back to bed when I leave the room. She has not been diagnosed with alzheimers but I wonder. Her memory is pretty good and she has no other health problems except bladder control. She has to wear Depends, but she does not even get up to go to the bathroom. She is currently taking Aricept and Zoloft. Could this be making this problem worse? I am at my wits end.
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To help my dad with showering, we are getting one of those shower seats that fold up when not in use. We purchased a free standing one and it is too large for the shower. I am going to place the soap and wash cloth and brush (he prefers a brush) within reach. He can't stand for very long due to the fact his muscles are getting more and more weak because of his inactivity.
Oh! he does enjoy going to the movies! Last night took to see True Grit and he wasn't able to follow the story line but raved about the scenery! Today he was up half the day! wow!
There are county programs where trained people will come in and assist with bathing. Also, if he is a vet, the VA has programs too. Have to talk to the social worker where he goes. Haven't used that service yet.
We are all in this together! Thanks for the many suggestions.
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