Why does my mother keep her eyes closed?

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My mother has just recently started closing her eyes while she is awake. She will even talk with her eyes closed. She does this in the morning hour's, then toward noon and throughout the day, her eyes are open. She is getting plenty of rest throughout the night... it's like she can't get herself to wake up.

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I remember, when the children were small. Hide and seek, if their eyes were closed. you could not see them. lol Children's logic.
It was safer inside the eyelids than outside (seeing)

My be they feel safer? It does shut all visuals 'goings on' out.
Good Luck
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My mother is 96 and has recently started to close her eyes so much. When I ask her why her eyes are closed she says she doesn't know. I came on line to see if I could find out more about this but reading some of these comments has given me comfort in at least knowing that I am not alone. She has early dementia, too, but is in no pain and is a very cheery, happy, lovely lady. I will do what many have written and just accept it, try not to worry and just continue to look after her with love and care. Thank you.
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If she is having difficulty concentrating closing ones eyes can help you focus on what you are saying . Or maybe she is praying.
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My mother is 101 and has been living with me for almost 20 years since she was diagnosed with Dementia. Up until a month ago she was going to a day program but that ended/postponed because she could no longer walk up and down the 6 stairs so until I get a lift put outside, she's home all day. Since that time, I have seen a serious decline in mom and its breaking my heart, I know she's 101 and I am blessed to have had all this time but it still hurts to see her decline so fast. She just started keeping her eyes closed while she's sitting up in her transfer chair. She keeps them closed while she eats, she yells during the night (before it was just the groaning) and she claps her hands almost incessantly during the night. She can no longer tell me she needs to use the commode and she has developed a huge pressure sore (I've been treating it) even though I move her during the night and I keep her washed, cleaned and dry and she still developed a couple of small skin abrasions. I have been crying these last few days because I don't want to put her in the nursing home and I'm hoping God gives me the strength to continue providing her with loving care. Your comments above have been very helpful and it lets me know that I'm not alone on this journey. Thank you.
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Michelle
South Africa
My mom was never officially diagnosed with Alzhiemers but all the signs were there. It was like something happened overnight. She started forgetting where she put stuff and confusion of where she was. We soon realised that she shouldn't be allowed to take her own medication or help herself around the kitchen. A month ago she undergone minor surgery for a prolapsed bladder. Mom is 75 years old and the Dr's assured us it's a common procedure. The procedure went well according to the Dr's and mom wqs discharged two days later of which I thought to be too soon because we were told she would have to stay in hospital atleast 5-8days after the procedure. Then she incurred an infection and was readmitted to hospital. She also had an absis that needed to be drained. She was very disoriented and unhappy that she had to stay behind in the hospital. They thought we had her admitted to a mental hospital. We had to make sure by orientation that one of us is there to give her security that she's not been abandoned and constantly explain where she is and why. That we love her and that we will always be back. Almost two weeks later and mom is discharged. Now she doesn't eat at all, she keeps her eyes closed all the time, she don't have bowlmovement and barely passes urine. She talks all the time even when she sleeps and random talk. Westarted feeding her eEnsure and jelly. My sisters assist with caring for mom but there are things they feel they don't have the"gift" to do and I am sure I don't have to tell you what those things are :( I am very encouraged with everything I read here and I find my knowledge and encouragement in all your posts. Thank you for sharing. God bless you all x
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One reason they keep their eyes closed is to shut out overwhelming visual stimulation(which is normal stuff but not anymore) that confuses & scares them & can contribute to delirium agitation anxiety fear.The dementia is advancing,It's not a good sign, usually associated with advanced dementia.Usually the beginning of shutting down.It can be pain,constipation,infection,pain killers..so many things can cause delirium.Some are like this for years, some are shutting down.They are frightened & are trying to block it out.
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I asked the CNA that helps me with my husband this question. She said that it is often that it just takes too much energy to keep the eyes open. Closing the eyes is just one less thing that needs to be done.
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If she is dealing with dementia there could be a couple of reasons.
She may be tired.
She may be having visual problems, could be "floaters" a shadow or maybe things are just moving too fast for her brain to register what is going on.
And light may bother her eyes.
You can try keeping the room a little dimmer and see if that makes a difference.
Sunglasses might help as well.
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My mother-in-law is in the 6-7th stage of Alzheimers. She keeps her eyes shut almost all the time when she is sitting. She keep them closed while she is eating.She opens her eyes long enough to see the food and stick her fork in it, then she closes them again while she eats that bite. When she sits down, which is not for very long periods, her eyes are almost always shut. The house is not bright, I think it's just something that some alz. patients do. She also tears up her bed every time we make it up. This is just something that she feels like she needs to do. We just accept it and do the best we can to take care of her.
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My dad is 96 and his dementia has progressed over the last few years......he rarely opens his eyes, even when I feed him. He is complete care and we have him home with us, but he is almost non-verbal these days. It's helpful to know that others have noticed the eye closing thing, too.......I just wonder why? He is constantly picking, too......we have give him a washcloth to hold and that helps a bit. I'm glad I found this site........it helps to know other are going through this.
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