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Mom recently diagnosed with Alzheimers ... started sleeping all day

indranildatta

New member
Jun 8, 2020
4
0
Hi All,

My mom, 72 years old, has been diagnosed with Alzheimers in February 2020. Based on her behaviour we guess she's in stage 3 or early stage 4. She can hold a perfectly normal conversation, can do mental/written arithmetic very well and remembers names and relationships of immediate and extended family members. She's incapable of remembering very short term things e.g. what she's eaten for lunch. She also recognises that we're in lockdown situation due to a virus pandemic.

In the last 3-4 weeks, we've seen sudden deterioration in her constitution. She's started sleeping for most of the day and night, sometimes for 20 hours or more in a 24-hour cycle, if not disturbed. She gets very irritated if my dad (primary and sole carer) tried to wake her up. She's started eating less and less, and also not inclined to hold a conversation in the brief time she's awake. However, she's perfectly cogent when she does speak. She can eat, go to toilet, and take a bath all by herself, but very slowly compared to before. She complains of feeling sleepy all the time, but when I ask if there's any pain or suffering, she claims to be alright.

She had perfectly normal cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, ECG, and all other tests done. The MRI scan showed some shrinkage to brain normal in early stage Alzheimers.

We are at a bit of loss as to what could be wrong, and the reason behind excessive sleep. Google search yields this as a symptom for terminal stage dementia, which has obviously made us very nervous. Have anybody else experienced this with a sufferer? Any ideas or leads would be highly appreciated.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,698
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @indranildatta , I've no experience of this, but I thought I'd say hi and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. If you use the search bar at the top of the page you will find other posts on the topic that might help.
Is your mum on any medication? I was wondering if that might account for the sleepiness. It does sound like something that should be flagged up with the doctor, as from what else you've said she seems to be in the fairly early stages.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
6,278
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @indranildatta welcome from me too. The sleepiness you describe is normal in late stage dementia but not at your mum's stage. As @Sarasa suggests I think a word with the GP would be a good idea. Possibly your mum has an infection PWD don't always realise when they are ill.
 

indranildatta

New member
Jun 8, 2020
4
0
Thanks a lot Sarasa and Bunpoots. Mom's on medication, and we've spoken to the doctor several times about this. He changed medication dosage and stopped one of them eventually, but nothings seems to be changing the excessive sleeping. We're going to get a GP look at her, which is a bit hard given all of the restrictions that are in place right now.
 

Buffalo

Registered User
May 24, 2020
11
0
Hi indranildatta

She sounds similar to my mother - who has never snapped out of it and has hardly got out of bed for 18 months.

However, she should be tested for low B12 and possible anaemia. Both of these can cause lethargy and might contribute.

Also, are there any depression issues?

As I say, my mother went to bed one day and never really got up again, but i think she had later stage dementia than your mother but undiagnosed. After all this time there is nothing we can do, so we let her get on with it.

I am not sure if she considers it a kind of "safe space."
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
10,831
0
Southampton
could it be boredom my husband has vasc. dem. but mildly and asleep quite a lot. he says its mainly boredom as he cant go out and every day the same.
 

indranildatta

New member
Jun 8, 2020
4
0
Thanks Buffalo, Jennifer.

She didn't have anaemia, but we'll get her tested for it again, and vitamin deficiency.

Any ideas on how to get such patients tested for depression as I don't think she's capable of a regular session with psychiatrists?

My mom has always complained of boredom. For years now, especially after us, the kids flew the nest. Sounds like a psychological evaluation is absolutely necessary. Are there any resource any of you could kindly point at that gives idea on methods of such evaluation for PWDs?

Many thanks to all of you for such a warm welcome to the forum BTW.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
17,444
0
68
Toronto, Canada
My mother had several sleeping phases but they were at various times of her illness, both beginning and middle/late stages. I personally think she was escaping her AD by sleeping. We had all kinds of tests done but never found a physical reason for her sleeping.
 

Buffalo

Registered User
May 24, 2020
11
0
My mum had an assessment by the local mental health unit but was too far gone to be honest. Whilst she has dementia and depression, there is nothing she would engage with to help.

My aunt, who cared after my grandfather, said at the time that an assessment, via the GP recommending, would be the way to go. Once she is formally assessed you can then see if psychiatric help is the way forward.

However, in my experience, that will be a long wait before anyone in the NHS bothers to turn up. And if you have means you will end up paying for the psychiatric sessions anyway. However, at least this gets you into the system.

So you will need to follow the system at first and be dogged to make sure things are followed up and once you get the diagnosis you can then choose the path.

Good luck.
 

indranildatta

New member
Jun 8, 2020
4
0
Thanks again Buffalo, Joanne, Jennifer.

We're trying to get her checked by a GP today/tomorrow, and hopefully that will give us some direction.
 

Bubbly1

New member
Jul 21, 2020
1
0
Please google Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. My dad used to sleep all the time, couldn’t be bothered to speak, lost his appetite and felt generally unwell. He then started to have difficulty walking, couldn’t get to the bathroom in time and began falling over. The neurologist we took him to see said he had shrinkage of the small blood vessels in his brain, nothing could be done and go home and live with it. I mentioned Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and the neurologist said there was nothing to indicate that. I sought a second opinion, and that neurologist diagnosed dad with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and a shunt has been fitted. The improvement in dad’s health, abilities and mental function has been incredible. Google Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus- it can’t hurt to be informed. Xx
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
10,831
0
Southampton
im really sorry if i caused offence i didnt mean to. i know about hydrocephalus and shunts. sorry not sure what ive done but sorry. i think im going round and round but dont know where ive been or where im going.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,112
0
South coast
I dont think youve caused any offence @jennifer1967 - I think Bubbly was just giving information.

Im sorry you feel you are just going round and round. I hope today is better
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
12,737
0
Merseyside
Please google Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. My dad used to sleep all the time, couldn’t be bothered to speak, lost his appetite and felt generally unwell. He then started to have difficulty walking, couldn’t get to the bathroom in time and began falling over. The neurologist we took him to see said he had shrinkage of the small blood vessels in his brain, nothing could be done and go home and live with it. I mentioned Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and the neurologist said there was nothing to indicate that. I sought a second opinion, and that neurologist diagnosed dad with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and a shunt has been fitted. The improvement in dad’s health, abilities and mental function has been incredible. Google Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus- it can’t hurt to be informed. Xx

Welcome to DTP @Bubbly1
Please keep posting as you’ll get lots of support here.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
654
0
Hi All,

My mom, 72 years old, has been diagnosed with Alzheimers in February 2020. Based on her behaviour we guess she's in stage 3 or early stage 4. She can hold a perfectly normal conversation, can do mental/written arithmetic very well and remembers names and relationships of immediate and extended family members. She's incapable of remembering very short term things e.g. what she's eaten for lunch. She also recognises that we're in lockdown situation due to a virus pandemic.

In the last 3-4 weeks, we've seen sudden deterioration in her constitution. She's started sleeping for most of the day and night, sometimes for 20 hours or more in a 24-hour cycle, if not disturbed. She gets very irritated if my dad (primary and sole carer) tried to wake her up. She's started eating less and less, and also not inclined to hold a conversation in the brief time she's awake. However, she's perfectly cogent when she does speak. She can eat, go to toilet, and take a bath all by herself, but very slowly compared to before. She complains of feeling sleepy all the time, but when I ask if there's any pain or suffering, she claims to be alright.

She had perfectly normal cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, ECG, and all other tests done. The MRI scan showed some shrinkage to brain normal in early stage Alzheimers.

We are at a bit of loss as to what could be wrong, and the reason behind excessive sleep. Google search yields this as a symptom for terminal stage dementia, which has obviously made us very nervous. Have anybody else experienced this with a sufferer? Any ideas or leads would be highly appreciated.
With dementia and in the case of Alzheimer's being the cause, one sees " sleeping " taking place at varying levels in the Care Home l frequent. Depression is often behind excessive sleep patterns, but if major causes have been ruled out then l should simply keep a diary of events and see if/when a change occurs. Sleep like dementia is complex in essence and the brain extraordinarily so. As stated, l can say without hesitation that residents with Alzheimer's or other dementias can remain in bed for most of the day and even the next day. Then you enter the lounge and see them sitting in their armchair, perky and very responsive the following morning. Alzheimer's affects sleep patterns along with so much else. See how the "pattern" progresses.