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Christmas in Hospital - from independent to sleeping all the time


Registered User
May 11, 2011
Hi all

I know no-one will have the answers to the questions at the end of this and to be honest compared to what a lot of people are going through we are very lucky to have had the experiences with dad we have had but this is a huge change for us so any advice / words of experience however honest would be greatly appreciated.

My dad, 89yrs old, was diagnosed with alz.d. 9 years ago and had been incredibly independent and at home, with a carer just 4 days a week for a few hrs and then me and my sister to help with tablets in the evenings.

5 weeks ago he was admitted to hospital with delirium and a chest infection. Luckily he was admitted into a great dementia unit with great staff and for the past 4 weeks he was still trying to be mobile, watching tv in the lounge area etc and he actually started to remember where the bathroom was etc. He was engaging and the staff loved his sense of humour. He's been in hospital for so long as we are waiting for an increase in his care at home and of course all the agencies are short staffed etc. but the plan is/was for him to go home. He is medically well.

However last week we saw the start of a significant change. He is now constantly sleeping, awake for just a few hours a day, barely eating - jelly and ice cream is about it!, He loves his cups of tea but the last few days he's stopped asking for them and not really been drinking ones made. The biggest change is that until last week he loved to chat, it didn't make sense but he would talk to us about work etc, flirt with the nurses- now we are having to ask for eye contact and that's fleeting. Nurses have picked up on the change and tested for infections etc but there aren't any.

He is going into respite until his package of care can be set up but basically is this the Alzheimers finally really taking hold after nine years of dad proactively fighting it off? ... is it dad just fed up of hospital? Could a proactive, dementia friendly respite setting help him "bounce" back? Or should we be prepared for what we dread to think?



Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
Don't think I'm able to answer your questions. All I can give you is my recent experience

Mum was taken from her care home to hospital 2 weeks ago. We were all convinced she was on end of life. My sister and I did 1:1 sitting up until Christmas Eve. After one day being unconscious, mum started to rally. When we got back from Christmas, it seemed she had started to withdraw into herself. Once she knew we were back with her, she began to respond again and is, as of today, back in the care home.

My thoughts on this withdrawal is that she wasn't getting the stimulation she needed so the best place for her was back at the care home.

Hoping it's just a blip and once your dad is out of hospital he begins to respond again xx

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