Because my mom has sleep apnea, the quality of her sleep is very poor. This leads to excessive sleepiness all day long. She is 96 yrs old. Is it worth having a sleep study, and perhaps purchase an apnea device? The possibility exists that she will just try to take it off during the night anyway. Please lend advice.

I would not put Mom thru this. Being in a strange place would probably cause anxiety. I wish my Mom had napped throughout the day.
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Reply to JoAnn29

For this to be successful she needs to want to use it. A sleep study is scheduled and she arrives to a sleep site alone. She needs to go to bed by 11 pm and all of the wiring should remain on. If it is done at home, she needs to follow directions to put it on and wear it overnight. If sleep apnea is confirmed, she goes back again to get fitted for the appropriate device and machine settings.
She NEEDS to wear the device every night for at least 4 hours or more for around 60 days. The CPAP machine records her wearing and sends the info via internet or she can take the SIM card to the sleep lab. If she does not comply, the insurance will remove the CPAP machine permanently and it is difficult to get one back.
She should clean the mask from sweat and oils every day. If she uses a humidifier, she should empty any leftover water. She needs distilled water so that algae does not grow in it.
IF you think that she will jump through all of the hoops then go for it.
In my personal experience, you could put the mask on her but with dementia, she will pull it off in 5 minutes and. keep doing it.
IF her apnea is bad enough, she might qualify for night time oxygen but sh needs the first phase of the study to qualify for a prescription
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Reply to MACinCT
JoAnn29 May 25, 2020
My husband was given info for the test to be done at home. He never followed up on it though. Because if his hearing, going toba facilityvwould not haveworked for him.
Since dementia is a terminal illness, I wonder how CPAP would figure in. I can’t imagine how a person with severe dementia would tolerate it. The user has to be able to provide feedback, like airflow too strong, strap too tight, etc. if not, she could get an injury. Why can’t she sleep whenever she feels like it? Night, day, keep her comfortable. If she did get one, I’d think she’d require someone to monitor her with it at all times.

I’d really discuss this with a doctor who understands dementia. Most people with dementia can’t tolerate anything that overloads their senses.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

The sleep study requires lots of electrodes placed all over her head, then trying to sleep that way while being watched by a technician from another room. That alone would make me not do it with any 90 something year old with any dementia. The masks are cumbersome to keep in place. My dad went through most every type of them and could never adjust to it. He finally returned all of it and told the doctor that it was messing up his plan to die in his sleep! He’s still got apnea, still sleeps off and on during the day, and still doing okay minus the contraption. Sometimes the fix is worse than the problem
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Reply to Daughterof1930

A person who's 96 with severe dementia is going to have sleep issues, with or without a CPAP machine. It's the 'severe dementia' that causes sleep disturbances. My husband was in his 50s when he received his CPAP machine. It took him several MONTHS to adjust to it, and that was with me insisting he put it back on his face every time he'd rip it off during the night. I'd allow him 10 minutes with it off, then tell him to put it back on.

No way on Earth you'll get your mother to keep that mask on her face all night, so why bother going through the nightmare? That's my opinion. Your only goal here is to keep your mother as comfortable as possible, which may mean getting hospice involved for comfort care at this point. Severe dementia warrants a hospice evaluation; see what her PCP has to say on the subject and if he'll write the order.

Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lealonnie1

If I understand it correctly, your mom would need a sleep study before being prescribed a treatment. Medicare will pay for this. A sleep apnea specialist could advise you if your mom is a candidate. The specialist I am familiar with is a neurologist. Ask your moms doctor for a referral.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to 97yroldmom

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