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I see people, especially women, of all ages sleeping like that.
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Reply to ZippyZee
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This is the final stage of Alzheimer's. I know this happened with my Grandmother. Yes, hospice maybe a good idea at this point.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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mayday your posts would get more reads if you would stop yelling.

My mom near the end of her life also slept in the fetal position.
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REQUEST FROM HER DOCTOR AN EVALUATION FOR HOSPICE,

They may supply necessities for pressure sores, etc.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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so my aunt's joints and ligaments are deteriorating...they naturally coil up to fetal position. If she isn't moving so much on her own,, then these sinouse strands of tissue coil up...
To help control the pain, a nurse told me, her country just gives them a daily does of Tylenol, to help the pain.
The palliative nurse, says to massage, put lotion on legs, and gently massage them outward, but if they have been contracted or constricted however you say it, a long time, this will only help to reduce the contraction going forward... You will not be able to straighten them out how they should stretch out. Keep them comfortable, put pillows between legs, or joints so they will not get pressure sores. Rotate.. sounds like my aunt, she may not be able to move naturally, or at all, and then pressure sores can pop up.. bedsores, or however you want to say it. These can be very destructive on the delicate tissue called the skin.. So do be aware of bone touching bone, or couch or cushion touching only one spot on the body, ie, tail bone, ankle bone, heel bone, elbow... etc...
Rotate her body every 2 or 3 hours to relieve pressure... Ask her doctor for hospice or palliative care evaluation..... It is just a referral.. They will evaluate the situation... and consider this.... Please. They will probably prescribe on their bill, an inflatable mattress that will inflate and deflate for pressure sores.
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AlvaDeer Aug 15, 2020
Good advice from MAYDAY. Also try to google or other search engine "Passive Range of Motion Exercises" They mean passive in that you do it and they cannot participate. Truth is that this does little overall, but it may help a bit.
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Nurse Alvadeer, thank you for your reply. I have noticed that she does not move her joints very well. Sometimes she will not straighten her legs in the morning after waking up or bend her elbows without a lot of trying on my part. It makes it even more difficult. Then I try to change her diaper, she will not open her legs, her knees are so locked together that I have to practically pry them open just to get her cleaned up and the diaper off and on. Plus she is keeping her hands in a fist all the time, so I put wash clothes in her hands to absorb the sweat.
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Reply to HopeinGod
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No, she's not cold. She have dementia and alzheimers and I believe that she is in the final stage of these.
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AlvaDeer Aug 15, 2020
Yes. You are right.
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This is not unusual. As a nurse I saw it 100s and 100s of times. Nurses used to say if people live long enough they go from fetal position all the way back to fetal position.
There are perhaps more reasons than we can know. If you have ever been just "at the end of it" either with grief, depression or exhaustion, you may recall just wanting to go to bed, curl on your side and draw your body up into a defensive position. It is a normal human response that is almost from our animal times, protecting the core of us that, if attacked, will result in our demise. So it is a natural position for us.
There also the fact that muscles atrophy, and that ligaments lose their ability to adapt, to stretch. Our body draws in upon itself as these muscles flatten.
There are so many things that are normal, and natural, that we with our magical thinking like to assign to some profound spiritual reason that doesn't exist. For instance, those who have seen a loved one through they dying process will see that the face takes on a very BEAUTIFUL countenance. Wrinkles and lines often seem to disappear and the body takes on a gorgeous almost sculptural beauty. We think it is peace, but really it is the body doing what it does after death, the beginning of a body going into rigor.
There is no need to feel uncomfortable about this, and I still love our old nurse's magical thinking that the journey has been completed. As the book of common prayer says "As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end." I as an atheist take great comfort in the poetic beauty and comfort of many religious texts.
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Can you ask her? Maybe it's as simple as she's cold.
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