Mom's asleep all day and awake all night. Any advice?

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My mother, 88, is in nursing home - parkinsons for 15 years, dementia for maybe 7 or 8 years and numerous strokes., . Whenever I visit she's asleep in her bed. She says she's so tired because she's awake all night. She's deteriorated terribly the last few weeks, mostly in bed, sometimes her wheelchair, barely able to speak, fantasizing and nastier than ever. Is this just normal as she deteriorates?

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I am so sorry, ashlynne. I didn't realize how far your mother was removed from reality. You are trying so hard to care for her and do the right things for her health. Just remember that the tongue lashings are coming from her illnesses, unless she was that way before she became ill. I think it is time for you to turn over her care to professionals. My heart breaks for you. Be comforted by the fact you have done your best, and do what you think will make you feel better in the future. Again, I am so sorry. You are doing the right thing by reaching out to others.
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Thank you for your replies. Things are becoming extremely difficult and I don't know how much further she can go. Although she knows who I am, the dementia is such that it's hard to tell between fantasy, reality and stories/lies made up purely for attention (she's a life long narcissist). She watches her mouth with the staff and social worker but all I get is complaints, blame, wants and a darned good tongue lashing.

Next week I'll be taking her to the dentist to get her dentures relined. It's only 4km away, she'll go by para transit bus and I'll follow along in the truck. To lay the ground work I mentioned that the dentists are of middle eastern descent, i.e. they wear long clothing and head scarves. Her reaction was, in horror, "You mean they're pakis???!! I'm dreading it. In fact I'm dreading going near her at all these days.
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I am having this problem as a caretaker. There are so many things that have to be done during the day to care for my husband, who has been diagnosed with AFIB, including taking him to doctors' appointments and endless tests that I fall asleep any time I sit down during the day. I am exhausted at bedtime, but I can't sleep. Most of the time, I get two or three hours in just before time to get up. Last week, I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. I heard the alarm, but I woke up too late to make the appointment with the alarm clock in my hand!. That same afternoon, I got the time for another appointment mixed up with the time for my husband's appointment the next day. I was thirty minutes late. The doctor was going to see me after his other appointments, but I was afraid to leave my husband for that long. This is not like me at all! I stay on a schedule and am always prompt. I am afraid to take sleep medication, and I know I can't go on forever this way. Do any of you have this problem? If so, what do you do?

In response to your question ashlynne,, my mother did exactly what your mother is doing. She was cognizant of our conversations and of who I was though. I thank God for that. She watched TV, read, and did word search puzzles all night. I noticed eventually that she slept a lot at night, but was still sleepy during the day. When I asked her doctor about it, he said most elderly people develop similar habits. He attributed it to medication, depression (more medication), and boredom. In your case, you know your mother's diagnosis and medications. She is not aware of what she is doing. I visited my mom anyway, but always took a book in case she was asleep. When she was awake, I gradually saw my sweet, adorable mother develop a nasty side, too, and heard words come from her mouth that shocked me! I reminded myself that this was the illness affecting her mind and she was no longer the mom I remembered. I read and watched her sleep when she was asleep.During some of those times, I reminisced about how things were when my father was living and what good times mom and I had before she broke her hip and eventually developed lymphoma. I think, for your own sake, that you should visit your mother even when she is asleep. You will look back some day and cherish the times you spent with her and enjoyed being in her presence. I think it is especially difficult for daughters and mothers, if they were close before whatever illness changed your lives forever. My heart goes out to you. You sound like a caring and loving daughter who is trying to enjoy your mom in spite of her nastiness. Your mom is receiving care where she is. Now it is time for you to take care of yourself and enjoy your mom while you can.
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From what I have encountered with my father (and my husband as a Hospice Chaplain) this is very typical and is called " Sundowner's". Basically their body rythem has gotten confused and backwards. We were told to wake Dad up in the morning. Turn on his lights, tv and open his shades. Set his bed in a more upright position and when possible get him out of bed and his bedroom. He still will sit in his chair and nod off all day but it has begun to help him rest more at night. He also has very vivid dreams in which he is a participant and believes them to be real. Our Doc said this too is normal.
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