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My husband isn’t looking up anymore. Why does he just look at his lap instead of people talking to him? And sometimes he just seems to shut down, no responses, just stares into his lap. What can I do to get him to participate?

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Im wondering if he had a stroke or a clot. My mother woke up one morning slurring her words and exhibiting odd behavior. She was trying to put socks on her feet. In reality she was waving a Kleenex over her foot, in her mind it was a sock. The MD said there was no evidence of a stroke but maybe a clot. They "could" try medications but at 94 years old, I'm guessing HE felt she had a good life. I work full time so I decided to place her in a beautiful facility. The first few days she was able to speak somewhat, after that she began to shut down. I would put her in a wheelchair and we would sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. She began to be non verbal, and non responsive, keeping her eyes closed and eventually her head down. Eventually it became difficult to get her into a wheelchair and she became bedbound, she passed away after two weeks in the facility.. I would visit his Dr and see if something else is going on..
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Reply to cactusflower123
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He's tired?, he's bored?, he's shutting down?"=so without a neurological eval, it's hard to know.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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He may be getting over stimulated. If he is given a chance to spend time in a quiet, boring environment, he may be more responsive later. As an introvert, I get overstimulated easily. I however am able to take care of myself by retreating to be alone for a period of time. If he does this behavior absolutely all of the time, then this is probably where he is in his dementia at this point. If this is intermittent, it is possible he is having a seizure or a TIA (mini stroke).
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Reply to Toadhall
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I know this is difficult, especially since it is your spouse. It is possibly just part of the severe stages of the illness. Search for the Functional Assessment Staging Test.
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Reply to Lewis22
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Without knowing your husband's condition, I will add what I know about that presentation. My father would do this and in his case he was having a seizure. During this type of seizure, it seemed as if he could hear you, but he was unable to respond or function. Observed it in the car as we arrived home once. Very unsettling. Luckily, mom was with me and knew what to do. With occasional prompts, we could see when its effects abated. Mom would wait until he could unbuckle the seatbelt himself and perform other little functions before attempting to get him in the house. The other source of this type of behavior can be from the effects of medication. Look at his list. If your loved one is showing a new behavior or symptom, I would discuss this with the doctor and have him checked out. Never assume anything.
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Reply to lynina2
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My Mom stared like that and got worse as time went by. It would be harder and harder to snap her out of it. She had LBD.
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Reply to Isabelsdaughter
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Isabelsdaughter Dec 18, 2018
I read this somewhere Fourth-stage
In the fourth stage, people with dementia may completely shut out the outside world. They might sit in a chair or lie in bed staring straight into thin air, or they might have their eyes closed. They may not respond when someone walks into the room or speaks to them.
Today, we know that the person at this stage still hears and experiences through touch, and it is extremely important that we continue to talk with them and still make physical contact.
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It depends on what else is going on and where he is in a particular disease process.
My Husband looked down and I think there was a variety of reasons.
At the late stages of his dementia he began loosing trunk support and supporting the heat is difficult. That is 10 to 11 pounds supported by the neck, that is a bit of weight!
With dementia you are no longer engaged to the people around you or your surroundings so what is around you has less meaning. If something holds no meaning there is no sense in looking at it. And if what you are seeing confuses you it is best to not look.
It could be depression
It could be he is having vision problems
I could not tell from your profile what you are dealing with so it is difficult to give one answer.
If this is new and a concern I would contact his doctor to determine if this is something to be concerned about or is this normal progression.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Your husband is in depression - RUN to his physician and get him help.

When my DH started that, I allowed the doctor to put him on the Zoloft and it helped so much, so very very much.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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My dad had Parkinson’s with dementia did the same thing.
he has always been very social and couldn’t understand why he would look down and not talk much it’s true they are in there own little world. But after doctor put him on the Exelon patch that has improved and holds conversation a lot better. That is part of the desease and it’s hearbreaking. We have been going down this road for several months now I have had to learn so much. What is he diagnosed with?
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Reply to Daddygirl2
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This is exactly how my Dad is now. He is usually hunched over and looking down.. or has is eyes closed. He is now doing this more and more ...its very hard to see him like this.

I also have tried to get him to be more interactive.. but it is usually a futile effort.
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Reply to katiekay
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Just a thought...Have you had his vision checked lately? Mom is blind and sometimes doesn’t pick her head up...I guess why bother when you can’t see well. I have to remind her that at least it better for her posture and back if her head is up.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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When someone has dementia, they live in their own mind. Only occasionally do they participate in the “real world”. You can’t make them participate in conversations or understand what is being said. Their minds are usually in another place and time. The last thing you should do is force him to participate or speak to him in an angry tone because he will not understand. Acceptance of who he is now is difficult but if you try, things will be easier for both of you.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Ricky6 Dec 17, 2018
I agree with Ahmijoy. I would let him be for awhile. Later, approach him in soft gentle voice and ask him a question, Like how is he feeling? Or Would he like anything?
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