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Mom with dementia - sleeping too much??? My Mom sleeps almost all the time, even chewing with her eyes closed. She sleeps through the night - doesn't like getting out of bed. We try to keep her engaged but it is constant work.....We just don't know if we should let her sleep or keep trying to keep her awake

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So I guess my question is this: How do I allow my father dignity and independence when his actions show that he really needs help.? how do I get him to agree to either move in with my (which would mean moving out of his home in California to my house in Texas) or into a seniors environment?
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Its hard for us care givers. My father is 92. My mom died 12 years ago. Since then he has been increasingly sad and withdrawn. He sees more and more "ghosts" around the house and even outside across the street. He has hearing problems (and won't get his hearing aids repaired), has macular degeneration and can no longer legally drive, has trouble walking due to his legs, knees, and hips being messed up from years of abuse when he was self employed. He uses a walker which helps, but is more and more unsteady. I notice that he sleeps late, takes a long nap after eating breakfast, falls asleep watching television (regardless of how loud it is on), and goes to bed shortly after dinner. He seems to always be tired. I worry that he is "depressed" but he doesn't want to take medication. Its hard to "engage" him in activities because of his vision, hearing, and mobility issues. My brother and I (and to an extent his care giver) are caught between a rock and a hard place. I wish I knew what to do.
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With my mom, it is all the pain medications that she has to take that are making her sleep a lot. I took care of her for five years on my own, first it was pain from the fractures in her back, then trigeminal neuralgia in her face. She has to have a fentinyl patch for her back pain, and also several different seizure medications for her face pain. If she does not have medication for the trigeminal neuralgia, she cannot open her mouth to eat or talk without #10 pain. I thought I had a handle on judging how much pain medication she would be able to handle without getting unsteady on her feet, but she started falling in the apartment and starting to have dementia, so she is in the nursing home now.

Now that she is in the nursing home, they are trying to get her out of the lounge chair and getting her to take walks down the hall and go to meals and going to physical therapy, and they do not let her just lay in bed all or sit in her lounge chair sleeping all day. When I was taking care of her alone, my options for getting her out during the day were very limited, as I do not drive, and in order to take the bus or cab, she had a long walk down to the apartment entrance, by the time she got to the front door of the apartment building she was tired out.

I worry about the days I am not able to be there to visit, even just a half hour improves her mood and she is more alert and not as depressed. A lot of times when I get there she is sleeping, and I have to try and do things with her to try to keep her awake and alert.
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My friend's mother (who did not have dementia) slept all the time too. This went on for many years. I think that mainly she was depressed and had just "checked out" mentally and emotionally and used sleep as an escape.

One thing that did help, was that her children found the few things that she liked to do and used those to entice her into staying awake. (i.e., taking her to a favorite restaurant, making her favorite cookies, renting a movie, etc.) She still resisted but at least was alert more often. Also, they would not serve her food in bed...she needed to get herself to the table.

Not sure if these things will work with your Mom...don't know about the level of her mobility, etc...

Good luck...(check the other threads for info. too)
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