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If this were me at age 87, I wouldn’t want anyone pushing and prodding and expecting me to be perky and go to lunch. I’d have lived my life, been a mother, grandmother, traveled enough, been a caregiver, and experienced all of life’s difficulties while working and saving for my old age. When I’m 87, maybe I’ll want to lie in bed as long as I like. Not talk about what I consider inane or stupid. Not be dragged around shopping or to entertainment venues where music is too loud and seating is uncomfortable and rest rooms uncertain and I’m served food with too much pepper in it. I’d want to wiggle my toes under the sheets, watch Jeopardy if I feel like it, and think about whether I want to answer the doorbell when it’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses again. I wouldn’t be interested in what the great grandkids are doing at camp, and I’d be bored when people wasted my precious time on the phone with gossip and idle chatter. Just sayin’. Leave her alone because her idea of how to spend her own time is the only idea that counts.
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Reply to Fawnby
Bridget66 Nov 13, 2022
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You say, "She started not getting out of bed in August, says she just doesn’t feel well and wants to sleep, she has been in hospital and rehab, we just moved her into my home so I could take care of her. She has started saying she thinks the end is near I just don’t know whether to just make her as comfortable as possible or push her to get up and move."

Leave the woman alone and please do not 'push her to get up and move', such a thing should not even be a consideration! Your mother is 87 years old, with obvious health issues that led her to the hospital AND rehab recently, and now she's tired and wants to sleep. Allow her to do that. It's a whole lot better than having her up and screaming at you all day long or ordering you around/complaining or carrying on like we see happening with SO MANY elders here on the forum.

It is not our job as daughters and mere mortals to determine when it's time for our mother's to pass; that's God's job. All we can do is try to make their lives as comfortable as humanly possible while they are alive and leave the rest in God's hands. The end may be indeed be near for your mother, nobody knows. You may want to speak to her PCP about a hospice evaluation now. Hospice can come in and see what they think about how long she has left to live. They can provide you and your mom with excellent services like bathing that will help you a lot. All of their meds and services and medical supplies *like a hospital bed/wheelchair* are free and billed directly to Medicare who pays 100% of their fees. An evaluation may give you a better idea of what's happening with mom's body right now.

Wishing you the best of luck with a difficult situation.
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Reply to lealonnie1

The majority here say to let her sleep but there can be huge consequences to that; the more she lies around the more muscle mass she loses, which leads to frailty and weakness, which leads to an inability to ambulate and an exponential increase in the amount of care she needs.
I'm not saying you should be a sergeant major barking orders and marching her around the house for exercise, but I'd encourage her to follow normal daily routines - up in the morning, breakfast, meds, toileting, washing up, and then maybe a little nap - rather than staying in bed until noon (and beyond). And dozing in a comfortable chair in the afternoon rather than in bed allows you to clean up in her room and relieves those areas of the body that may be prone to pressure sores from too much bed time, it also allows her to be included in family routines rather than someone forgotten a separate area of the house.
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Reply to cwillie
christinex2ri Nov 15, 2022
My sister is 71 years old and is the queen of sleeping. this has been going on for years -- at first it was because she was a party girl, then came the auto accidents and the surgeries. Our mom made it her life's mission to enable her dependency on her and live vicariously through some of her 'friends' who traveled and were friendly with celebrities.
She doesn't understand why she is not rebounding like she did in her 30's and 40's. After each hospitalization she does have in-home PT/Ot care but when it ends it ends -- her aide doesn't try to get her out of invalid mode because it is to her benefit.
She's been assessed by hospital social workers as being of sound mind, so legally her PCP and I (along with the family) are in difficult position legally.
If your mom is having incontinence issues I would suggest that you consider the Pure Wick external catherer system for nighttime. It is expensive but worth the expensive -- minimizes UTI's and linen changes.
Medicare doesn't cover so we need to get our Congress people to push to get it covered - asap.
No, you shouldn't force her to get up. But if this kind of tiredness is new for her you should report it to her doctor.
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Reply to Countrymouse

She should consider talking with a doctor about mild antidepressant if she wishes to, but I will be honest with you. This was my Dad in his 90s at the end of his life. He had a good life and loved it, and he WANTED to let us know he was soooooo exhausted and just wanted to nap, and then get the big final nap. He tried for my Mom but he really was ready for the final rest, and this happens. I saw it happen with many patients in my nursing career and many told me their family just would not hear their honest feelings so they were left with telling me, a stranger. Mom may be ready for and longing for the end. Age is one loss after another after another and there is no upside coming. Listen to your Mom and talk with her honestly. My best out to you both.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Joanne1963 Nov 8, 2022
Thank you for your response. We lost Dad 9 years ago and to be honest I feel mom died with him. She has never been the same since, no interest in family or life. She started not getting out of bed inAugust, says she just doesn’t feel well and wants to sleep, she has been in hospital and rehab, we just moved her into my home so I could take care of her. She has started saying she thinks the end is near I just don’t know whether to just make her as comfortable as possible or push her to get up and move.
Have two perspectives on this.
1. My 91 yr old sister suffers from dementia and is quite deaf. She sleeps all night and takes 3-4 hour naps twice a day. At 86 she moved to an AL where she did well. Activities were well suited to her intellect and interests. Bridge, book club, quality movies and exercises. It was close to where she had been living so she continued having visits from old friends. Just as the pandemic hit her son and daughter-in-law moved her to a memory care unit. Like so many others, my sister suddenly lost all the activities and friends she enjoyed.
Today life is opening up, but she is surrounded by folks with even worse dementia. She sleeps a lot. Amazingly she has no physical problems. Literally takes no medications. Could she be suffering with depression? My vote is probably. But I live a four hour jet flight away and that’s an avenue her son will have to pursue. I visit her twice a year - not enough time to have say over her care.
I have no reason to hope for a return to past interests or friends. Long story short, I see no reason to “force” more activity. The facility she lives in has nothing to offer her.
2. The other perspective is mine. I’m 82, in relatively good health and a life long introvert. I live in a NON-senior, dog friendly apartment complex. No organized activities. No meals. I’ve made friends and love watching kids play and dogs all over the place. Perfect for me. While I made need “care” at some point, I honestly dread the regimented living that communal living requires. (Meals at certain times, activities like bingo). My kids and some friends feel as tho I should “do” more socially. But I’m happier with my simple life than at any time ever.
BOTTOM LINE: Base care arrangement decisions not on what others may like/need, but what best suits your loved one. I’m so lucky to have grown children who agree with me on this.
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Reply to bkoropchak123
Bunny567 Nov 15, 2022
Your second perspective is me! I’m 82, introverted and prefer my own company most times. I have my cat and still able to do some yard work. I’ve had times when I wanted to sleep a lot, but recognized depression creeping in, so I found a project or something to divert my mind. Will be 83 next month and still moving on up!
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I remember thinking I could “force” my mother to eat and sleep while she was living with me, and I also remember feeling defeated and guilty when she didn’t respond to my forcing.

I now have come to believe that none of us really work that way, whether elderly or very young or any age in between.

Try “good mornings” of opening the curtains and a pleasantly jingling alarm clock (not too loud) maybe even the smell of coffee.

You’ve done your part. Let up a little on her AND yourself, get a check from her medical practitioner and make note of changes, if any.

I bet going back to Standard Time didn’t help either.
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Reply to AnnReid
annemculver Nov 15, 2022
Great response! Just FYI: some of us prefer standard time 😱! I just wish we could stick to one & not change twice a year!!
Leave her alone. It’s not your journey. After taking care of my mom alone for 2.5 years and after her last fall I can no longer take care of her and placed her in rehab. I have specific instructions to my future caretakers to not take care of me in their home. I pray I don’t live that long. It’s selfish for anyone to want their parents to stay alive when their quality of life is gone…she starting voicing wanting to die over a year ago…love them enough to make it as comfortable as possible but make the humane decision. Medical world want their $$$$ that’s it…their word for “care” is just that…it’s sickening.
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Reply to PJAMMY2022

No leaver her alone . Perhaps she is having beautiful dreams .
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Reply to KNance72

SouthieBella, cwillie, gave you some good insight. I'll help you out, too. I'm reviewing what everybody wrote first.

I want to say that it's incorrect to just let your mom lay in bed all day. That's a recipe for weakening her body and her mind. The brain is highly involved in walking and walking is a very complex set of actions involving ears, eyes, speculation, reasoning, touch, coordination, balance, .... you get the picture. If you want a dementia patient to go downhill, fast, put them in bed and leave them in bed and never allow them out of bed, and they will lose not only the ability to even stand or walk, but the mental capacities that go along with that, plus loss of muscle and bone mass.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to RichCapableSon
Countrymouse Nov 15, 2022
I saw what you did there...

It is important to distinguish between allowing somebody to rest, and not allowing them out of bed. These courses of action are by no means the same thing.
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