When would sleepiness be something that should have a doctors attention in a 95 year old lady? - AgingCare.com

When would sleepiness be something that should have a doctors attention in a 95 year old lady?

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I am actually only giving moral support/encouragement to my friend who is caring for his 95 yr old mother. She is very slow moving in getting to the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter, Has neuropathy in one one foot, a a result from knee surgery many years ago, is incontinent some of the time. She seems in the last few weeks to be "very far away" and says she can feel her deceased husband in the home. Sometimes is very alert and has a quick wit and up until recently was very interested in doing the daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper. Now some days she is not so interested.and is excessively sleepy. She still wants to go out to dinner as she has been accustomed to but can't seem to get the energy to do so. My friend asked his mom if she was dying and she said yes. I'm worried about him as I'm afraid he may be headed for burn-out as he has had most of his mother"s care on his shoulders for just over a year with only two short breaks. I have gone down to Florida where they live to help about 5/6 times in this past year, and each time I see a decline. IS EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS SOMETHING THAT IS NORMAL FOR HER AGE OR SHOULD SHE BE SEEN BY HER DOCTOR? sometimes the sleepiness can be as much 18 hours in the day. Thanks for your reply in advance. Mary

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We had the very same problem with mom. As her dementia and all that goes with it (incontinence, loss of interest in doing things she enjoyed, etc.) she began "shutting down" and sleeping for days, slurring words, etc. then she would be back to normal. As this happened we more than a few times thought she had a minor stroke and off to ER we went. Each time (more than 1/2 dozen in a 6-month period) it was determined she had a UTI (urinary tract infection), that is then treated with antibiotics. We discovered that UTIs have a dramatic effect on dementia, making it worse and is the main cause of mom's sleepiness or shut downs (as we call them). It is important that your friend's mom be taken to a doctor as this may be the cause of her excessive sleep/behavior. We found that it is very important to change and clean her every few hours as a measure to prevent the UTI and monitor her urine (if it starts to become dark or cloudy and has a strong smell) you can bet it's a UTI and should be taken care of immediately. Hope these learnings help you and your friend.
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Definately get her to a doctor.. yes its true your tired when your old, but to have drastic changes no interest, excessive sleep, feeling husbands presence. She could have an infection. Have him take her temp. write down everything thats been happening and call her doctor asap.....
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It wouldn't hurt to mention it to her doctor, and see if her doctor wants to see her. In fact, a visit to her doctor might be in order to ask about hospice. If she is qualified, it be a great comfort for your friend. If she doesn't qualify at this time, she may as things progress.
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