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My mom has vascular dementia and is in memory care. She’s young at heart even though she’s 94. Looks about 80. She misses her family terribly and longs to be back “home.” She says often that she doesn’t belong where she’s living and begs me to take her home. She has withdrawn from activities where she lives and sleeps. I brought her to my house over the weekend and she acts depressed. She slept for 13 hrs each night, ate breakfast and slept for 5 hrs. My question: Should I contact her Dr? Is she exhibiting signs of depression?

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Thank you all for your input.
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Yes, if I live to be over ninety I plan on sleeping a lot.

Seriously though, when you consider what a long life that is. When my Mom was transitioned to nursing care she was in her early nineties. I would always find her sleeping when I came to visit. I was alarmed as you are and was always trying to get her to mingle with the other residents. But then I stopped to consider the state that most of the other residents were in and could not blame Mom for not wanting to leave her room.She lived a long, full life. She raised seven children on her own, worked till she was 68, lost a son to a mental disorder, lost another to death, had various physical ailments, not to mention dementia. Reading was one of her greatest pleasures and she could not do that anymore, she could not follow the t.v. programs, so I don't blame her for sleeping all the time. I would and probably will do the same if I live that long.

I understand your concern but I would say, just let her sleep if it makes her happy.
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Well, she could be depressed, or she could be 94 years old.
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Does anyone ever consider that a person who sleeps is simply tired?
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As my mom got into her 90s, she slept more. She wasn't depressed, but I think over time, she had less interest in TV shows (can't say I blame her, I find that myself), couldn't find music she liked, was technology challenged, so was limited in what she could do. I could have gotten her all kinds of things to do, but she wouldn't have been able to operate any kind of new device.

She could walk outside of her place and find others (she lived in independent living), but she chose to stay in most of the time. So I think it's common for people in their 90s to sleep much more. She'd tell me she didn't nap, but when I'd walk in, she'd be dozing in her chair. Or in on the bed napping.
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Hi, Linda. I can tell you that my 95 year old mom slept most of the time, too. So does my 67 year old, bedridden hubby. He will sleep 6 or 7 hours during the day. I believe it’s partly boredom and partly depression.
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Thank you so much! You are correct. I am not a fan of drugs and I was concerned about side effects. Sleep is her friend so I’ll be thankful she’s peaceful and not agitated.
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Hi Linda,
How wonderful to still have your mother at 94! I am sorry that she is blue. This is a very common circumstance for the very old. Think of the losses she has suffered. In addition to the loss of her home-which comes with the loss of autonomy and not having one's familiar possessions, she probably has lost most of the people she has known in her life. There is no one alive (I am guessing) who knew her as a young woman.
She has reason to be depressed. You can certainly consult a MD. I am hesitant to recommend more meds for anyone over 75 who is taking 3 or more medications already. They can cause interactions that are not worth the risk.
And, in my experience, a pill will not cure her depression.
Increased sleeping is not uncommon as dementia advances. And it brings her relief from her loneliness.
Unfortunately, not all problems have a medical solution.
Best of luck to you,
Margaret
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