My sister in law age 70 has Alzheimer's. It came on suddenly and is getting worse. Any input?


Because of a car accident many years ago, she is in a wheel chair now. Very recently she has taken to bed and sleeps almost 20 hours a day. She eats breakfast in the morning and the rest of the day she tells me she is not hungry and doesn't want anything to eat. We don't have a good relationship with her neuro doc. And I am looking for information via this support site. Could her sleeping a lot and not eating mean her Alzheimers is moving very fast? Sheryl

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When my husband started sleeping 20 hours a day, I called hospice in. Some days he would eat, and some days he wouldn't. He enjoyed Popsicle which helped with hydration, too.

Did her PCP indicate that SIL might be in the final stages? When did the ALZ begin? That would be a factor in how "fast" the dementia is moving. Has she had it for 2 years or 10?

Was she specifically diagnosed with ALZ, or more generally with dementia? There are about 50 kinds of dementia, and some of them progress more quickly than others.

Is this a sudden change, or has the time in bed been gradually increasing?

Many PCPs know diddly squat about dementia. I can't say if that applies to SIL's doctor or not, of course. Even though you don't have a great relationship with the neuro doc, you'd probably get a more meaningful assessment from that doctor.

Have you considered changing doctors? A geriatrician would be my first choice for PCP. Maybe you would get on better with a different neuro doc.

Hospice could also do an evaluation of whether SIL seems to be in final stage dementia. There would be no obligation to use their services, regardless of their findings.
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Yes she was formally diagnosed.. Her primary care just gave her the Annual Wellness Check. He just said to supplement her diet with Ensure type drinks. And let her sleep?
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Sounds very fast. Has the drastic status change been reported to her doctor? Dementia can be caused in many ways. With a sudden change she needs to be seen by her doc. It may very well treatable as it would be with a UTI.

Why do you think this is Alzheimer's? Has she received a formal diagnosis?
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