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Help with managing sleep apnoea please.

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by thebes, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    I saw the GP today to get test results and advice as my OH has become very sleepy over the last few weeks, he really would like to stay in bed most of the time. I was told it is almost certain my OH has sleep apnoea and has been referred to a specialist clinic.
    Does anyone have experience of managing this alongside mid/ later stage AZ? I would really appreciate your help. Our GP said the treatment is to wear a mask at night but as my OH did not tolerate his oxygen mask or nose tube when is hospital recently he is unsure if this possible for him. Thanks.
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    My husband got checked for sleep apnopia and I must say that I do not think that anyone with mid/later stage dementia would be able to tolerate it TBH.

    I would suggest that when the appointment comes through you phone up and speak to the person running the clinic and tell them about your husband. If they agree that it would not be appropriate then the appointment can be cancelled.
  3. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    My husband (no dementia) was tested for sleep apnoea

    He had to wear an oxygen like tube in his nostrils that connected to a blue box, and I had to place sticky pads on parts of his chest which I connected wires from a black box to.

    He found it very difficult to sleep as when he turned over and a wire disconnected a quiet beeping alarm sounded.

    My husband has had sleep apnoea for years.... His snoring and gasping when he caught his breath used to frighten the life out of me... Now I only wake if he stops breathing for longer than my subconscious thinks he should and I rattle him awake :)

    Now he's retired he does seem to cat nap at every opportunity, but he has decided he would rather not have to wear masks in bed.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  4. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    I think it's worthwhile to attend the appointment, with all respect to the GP, she/he isn't a specialist in sleep problems. You may get some help but you'll never know if you don't attend.
    There are lots of the population with cognitive issues, I'm sure the clinic will have encountered people with dementia before.

    If it turns out to be a wild goose chase, at least you tried.
  5. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    Managing sleep apnoea

    I've no experience of managing it alongside dementia, but I was treated for the condition. The treatment you mention (mask) will be a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP, pronounced See-Pap) machine.

    It is possible that a patient with the late stage of Alzheimer's disease or dementia would tolerate it, if only because the machine itself can be quite noisy and uncomfortable. if there are memory issues and the patient is not easily convinced to keep the mask on, then that form of treatment may be ineffective. However, I'd suggest it is probably worth trying and at least attend the sleep clinic. There are other options, including surgery, but that may not be appropriate.

    Sorry not be more helpful.

  6. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014

    I have found your comments very helpful thanks, and yes we will go to the clinic when the appointment turns up. My Oh and I had a chat today about why he is so sleepy, and that I think he does need to get up and sit in his chair at least for meals ( due to his poor swallowing he really mus be awake and sitting up to eat and drink).
    He was very grumpy with his career this morning for the first time ever when she persisted in trying to get him to agree to get out of bed, such a shame as he is so good natured usually, she felt she was pushing him too far, so we will need a better strategy.
    His understanding was better today so Itried talking through the mask at night possibility by way of preparing the ground; judging by his reaction it would be a non starter, he quickly remembered how he hated hated having the mask on his face in hospital. And plaintively went on to say, I just don't want my body messed round with, it is all too much.
    Poor chap that's how I feel too !

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