Is it healthy for moderate dementia patients to stay in bed all the time? - AgingCare.com

Is it healthy for moderate dementia patients to stay in bed all the time?

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My Dad has moderate dementia and just wants to shut the whole world out. He is 83 and we are trialing the 3rd antidepressant so far. My mum is not coping well (she is 80) because she can't get through to him. I am their carer throughout the day, they don't have to do a thing when I leave at night but I honestly feel way out of my depth since diagnosis. I have tried tough love, kindness, etc etc. To top it off my Mum has started symptoms of short term memory loss and gets muddled easily. They are both still ok to stay at home as long as I am there everyday and neither would want to go into an assisted living home, both become very distressed when that has been bought up and quite honesty it still is ok for them being in their own home, they would die within months if they had to go into a home and I would never do that. Sorry for the rant, but this is relatively new to me and there has been some really horrible days lately. I am in Australia and don't seem to get much support so far. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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Thank you so very much for your answers, they have helped more than you can imagine. As awful as it seems, at least I know I am not the only one. Very much appreciated.
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Sammy, I noticed with my Mom as she was aging she would complain about being dizzy, thus we tried anti-histamines and that seem to help her. I was wondering if that is the underlying cause why your Dad won't get out of bed... and he could be to proud to admit this is happening to him.

Don't be afraid of Assisted Living, I really believe my Mom [who was in her 90's] would have lived longer if she was living with Dad in either Independent Living or Assisted Living. Mom fell in their house and had a head trauma injury and she spent her late 3 months of her life in long-term-care. She had been very stubborn, refused caregivers or cleaning crews to come into the house, and refused to use a walker.

Dad moved to senior living right after Mom passed and he kept saying "wish I would have done this sooner but Mom wouldn't have moved here". He was happy as a clam in his new apartment with the Staff waiting on him.... he felt like he was living in a resort :) Of course, my Mom probably thought Assisted Living was an asylum as half a century ago that is pretty much how it was.
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First of all it is very bad for anyone to spend prolonged periods in bed. However once you have tried everything in your power you just have to accept the inevitable and provide the care they need. Continue to provide nourishing meals and high energy supplemental drinks. If you can get him out of bed to eat that is good and maybe you can build on that. However don't make fight of it give it to him in bed if that is the only place he will eat. You can physically move his limbs through a full range of movement while he is in bed. This is primarily to reduce the risk of contractions
I realize that keeping our elders mobile and motivated is the objective of most caregivers, this prolongs life, but please consider what the patient actually wants and that maybe to.just be left in peace to die. By all means try everything you can but not succeeding is not a failure and may improve the quality of whatever time your loved one has left.
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Sammy,
I could have written your post myself. Except in my case it was my mom who refused to get out of bed, not my dad. I too was over there everyday. I too begged and pleaded, tried tough love and bribes. Nothing worked.

Eventually my mom got very weak from being in bed all the time as will your dad. The body needs to move. If it doesn't it will break down physiologically.

My mom began falling when she'd get up to use the bathroom. My dad would call me and I'd run over there and scoop her up off the floor. After another time or two of this I'd had enough and when she fell the next time I refused to pick her up and insisted on calling 911 over her protests.

Once we got to the ER it wasn't just her muscles that had been affected but her electrolytes and other body systems had deteriorated as well. My mom had only been in bed for a couple of months but the damage was done. She died soon after this.

If your dad won't get out of bed there's not much you can do. It's not like you can pick him up and force him to stand up. This is a "use it or lose it" situation. Every day your dad is in bed causes him harm. When I look back on what happened with my mom I know I did everything I could to help her and that was my intent at the time because I knew how dangerous it was for her to stay in bed day after day. At the time I wanted to make sure I did everything I could so I would have no regrets in the near future. I knew where this was headed and I didn't want to feel guilty after she was gone but nothing I did worked.

You may have to do what I did and wait for an emergency and hope the damage that's been done isn't permanent.

I wish I had a more positive story to share with you.
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And we are not religious so would appreciate that being kept out of any answer.
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Thank you. However my Dad just says no to everything and pretends to be asleep at the moment. I can't even get him to go to his eye appointment right now, he will not budge.
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Providing stimulation helps keep those with memory loss on a more stable track mentally. Keeping him out of bed assists the bodily functions to work better. Up and out is my mantra. I'd suggest you try for a 'schedule' of sorts. Something like this: Getting up, bathroom stuff, breakfast, a walk out side (weather permitting), some quiet activiity at home (music therapy for example Music from their era), lunch, etc etc. The memory care place where my mom was, kept the residents out of their room unless they had had a BAD night or weren't feeling well. They had 'chair' exercises every day. And the residents walked to the 'activity' room every day. Try to build on what your folks liked to do previously. I took my Mom to a play ground to watch the kids on the swings etc. We just sat and watched but it was fun for her. It's spring time for you now, if they appreciated gardening, perhaps you can set up some pots and plant some seeds. If they like treats, I used to take my Mom for ice cream at an old fashioned ice cream place. Another resident's daughter took her mom for Starbucks each week. Is there a music program at a house of worship you can bring them to? Anyway, my vote is to keepp them moving.
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