Is it normal for a elderly person to be exhausted and sleep all the time (20 hours a day)?

Follow
Share

My loved one is 90 years old. She is a widow and lives alone. She has dementia and diabetes. She is medically overweight, bordering on obesity. She has taken a sharp mental decline as she ages and often doesn't know what time of day it is, who people are, and asks questions about made up scenarios or things that she sees.


She sleeps all the time. She eats three meals a day and when she isn't eating, she is sleeping. She goes to sleep around 8:30 and wakes up around 8:30 (12 hours). Then eats the breakfast we've prepared for her and goes back to sleep for another three hours until lunchtime. After lunchtime she sleeps for another four hours until we have a caregiver come to cook her dinner and clean the apartment. After dinnertime, she dozes off until it is time for us to put her to bed again.


My question is: is this normal? Today, she could barely move from the couch to the bed (~30 feet away) and I needed to push her in a wheelchair across our hall. She is basically deadweight whenever she tries to walk or do anything and keeps saying that she is so exhausted. Is this normal for people in her condition? Or is this a bad sign of something else?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
5

Answers

Show:
noblerare, it's not unusual for person in their 90's or even in their 80's to nap a lot. They have lived a long life, and they are tired.

But to sleep all day isn't normal. It can either be boredom, or some medicine she is taking. I remember my blood pressure pills were zoning me out, so the doctor lessen the dosage and what a difference. Another time I was extremely tired, blood work showed I was too low on Vit B12, and taking B12 shots was a big boost.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would definitely get her checked out by a doctor and let them know how much she is sleeping. It could easily be something related to her condition. I disagree that it is normal. My own mother has diabetes, dementia, and a host of other conditions. While at home alone, she was sleeping all the time as well and then complaining about how tired she was despite all that sleep. Now that she is in a nursing home, she gets up, goes to activities, gets dressed everyday, etc. I think it was due to poorly regulated diabetes. There were times when I would go over after work and find her sugars over 300, once even over 400.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

How do you know much she sleeps and if she is eating, are you there bringing in her meals 3X a day and staying with her while she eats, 7 days a week? That seems incredibly time consuming and onerous to me, when do you have time for yourself?

As Katiekate says, it could be the sign she is entering her final months, but it could also be something else... anemia, low blood oxygen, an infection, poor control of her diabetes, depression.... People (health care professionals) had me convinced that my own mom was at death's door over 5 years ago.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

She lives alone?!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes. It is normal. Her waking periods will get shorter too.

Her appetite will diminish, as will her willingness to take liquids.

When this happens such that you see the change from month to month, on average you can say that person likely has months left. When the changes become noticeable from week to week...the time remaining is weeks. When it is happening from one day to the next....then the end is only days away.

I have experienced all this since February. Starting at the end of May her changes were dramatic from one week to the next. Now, it is day to day.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.