mam getting further away

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
county durham
After having a couple of stable weeks my mam is at a stage now where she just seems very tired all the time and is sleeping deeply in bed for up to 16 hours at a time. Last night my sister and i went to see her about 6 o clock and she was asleep in the chair - she had just got up at 4.30p.m. from 4.00 a.m. We don't get much conversation from her at all now and when we talk to her or ask her a question she sometimes doesn't respond at all. Is this normal in the advanced stage of vascular dementia.
We were told she would probably get a chest infection or something but now we are thinking will she go to bed one night and just not wake up.

It feels she is getting further and further away from us and i feel we have lost her already even though she is still with us.

I just feel scared and quite down at the moment missing her so much and thinking about what the future holds.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Barbara

To answer your question, I think sleeping a lot is normal in the later stages of any form of dementia.

But that doesn't necesarily mean that the end is near. Is your mum eating and drinking well, and how is her weight?

These are better indicators, though people can lose a massive amount of weight and still go on.

I'm sorry, I'm not being very helpful, but I think only your mam's doctor could answer your question, and even he won't know for sure.


Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
West Yorkshire
Dear Barbara

My dad sleeps alot as well and he has days when he can't communicate at all. It is very common for this to happen. Every sufferers decline is different, and rates of decline vary too. It is very sad to see these changes in our loved ones. I was told about vascular dementia that the deline is stepped. That is, there can be long periods of no decline and then there can be sudden down turns. Nobody can say for sure what will happen. The best thing to do is to ask mums consultant to give you a more accurate picture of whats going on at the moment, but the rest is guess work. My dad looks so frail and lost, but he keeps going and has fought off many emergencies.
It is so difficult to come to terms with these changes, but more lovely moments with mum will come along soon I'm sure, even if she's not quite the same as before.
take care


Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
coast of texas
To answer your question. It is very normal for them to sleep alot. As for trying to figure out if she will be around. Quit. You'll take yourself down worrying about it.I hold conversations with my mother that are one sided. I do this so she will stay a little coherent to be able to eat. Even tho it will only be baby food. Hugs to you and your sibling. It is hard to watch a loved one go down. When someone starts asking me a question or poses one I answer as best I can but then say I have immersed myself in learning about AD because that is my power to cope.


Registered User
Jan 20, 2008
Hello Barbara

Try not to think too far ahead - it's hard I know but it just makes you too anxious. I know how you feel, I hate seeing my gentle and kind mum in the grip of this horrible illness. She seems to be changing before my eyes.

I hope your mum rallies from this period - you and your sister are doing the very best for her.

Best wishes


Registered User
Aug 21, 2007
Try not to think too far ahead - it's hard I know but it just makes you too anxious.
Hi Barbara

Wise words, I was given this very advice some time ago when I was frantically looking for signs of Dad's AD getting worse. I stopped looking and take things as they happen.

Don't worry and enjoy what time you can with your Mum.

AJay xxx

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
county durham
Thanks for your replies. I think you are right in saying not to look too far ahead but its hard isn't it.

The reason we are so anxious is probably because we haven't had much time to get our heads around the whole thing. Mam was only diagnosed properly at the end of january by which time she had taken a very sudden decline and was needing 24 hour care. She has since had several TIAs since then and when the consultant assessed her at the end of february she thought she only had about six months to live. I know it is hard to give an accurate prognosis with this illness but even she was shocked at her decline.

Thanks again and i will try and take your advice.

Barbara xx