Mum refuses to get up and spends all day sleeping

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Zuzzie, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    I'm a newby here. I am losing a battle with my mum. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 6 years ago and so far she has coped quite well. We moved her to an apartment in a retirement development where she lives on the ground floor - a few yards from the residents lounge etc. My problems with her began about a year ago when she would get up and wander down the hall into the residents lounge wearing her nighty. This is embarrassing as other residents have to put her back in the flat. Unfortunately, when she wakes in the morning it takes about half an hour for her to get her brain in gear - prior to this she is constantly asking "where am I and what am I doing here". This is why she is wandering. The House Manager recommended to me that I get a carer (privately funded) to get her up, wash, dress and offer breakfast. So I did this and initially it worked. But now they are having difficulty getting her up out of bed. Obviously, they can't manhandle her. I have tried to help but she is just absolutely refusing to get out of bed no matter what we try to do - she shouts at us. This week she has slept all day Sunday, Monday and now Tuesday looks like its going the same way. I don't mind the fact that she wants to stay in bed but she is not washing or changing her underwear (which she insists on wearing to bed!). Should I cancel the care package and just let her get on with it?? The other problem is that she will NOT get in the shower. What do I do?
     
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,093
    Toronto, Canada
    Welcome to DTP. You will find a lot of support and information here.

    My mother went through several sleeping phases. Perhaps the carer could come later and try then? The important thing is for your mother to drink fluids.

    I eventually persuaded the doctor to prescribe Ritalin (for ADHD in children but can be used for lethargy in seniors) and it did help her quite a bit. Perhaps that's an avenue you can investigate. Mind you, I spent a lot of time smiling and relentlessly nagging about the Ritalin.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,284
    Female
    South coast
    I agree with this. Quite often people are confused in the morning because they are dehydrated. My mum was a terror for not drinking enough and I think it is quite common with dementia. When she was dehydrated she was much more confused.

    Im also wondering whether your mum has got her day and night confused so that she is up all night and then wants to sleep all day.
     
  4. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    56
    Male
    Hi @Zuzzie, I agree with the other posts, but also if it is a fairly recent development has the GP been to check that she is physically OK? She may have an infection or some other underlying problem that it causing her fatigue.
     
  5. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    Thanks. I have mentioned this to the carer and they are going to try coming later. As for ritalin that may be useful. We are due to see the GP so I will see what they say.
     
  6. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    Sorry, forgot to mention the fluids. Because she is completely uncooperative its impossible to force her to drink. Yesterday the carer got her to take some pain killers for her hand (she had a fall) and she drank a glass of milk but as soon as the carer left the room she was back under the covers!
     
  7. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    Thanks for your reply. I did take mum to see the GP because she was extremely lethargic. We were sent to the hospital for blood tests having had to starve for 12 hours. Results came back and we were told she had a very low Folic Acid level so we are now on a 3 month course of high strength folic acid. Since she started with the tablets (about 2 weeks ago) she has got better and has been brighter but its still not helping with the sleep issue. Maybe I need to give it more time?
     
  8. Mojosho

    Mojosho New member

    Sep 13, 2019
    5
    My first day on this site and I read relevant information. My husband is now sleeping 16 hours out of 24 minimum. He still wanders at night. At first it's so scary and I didn't know what to do but I'm reading lots of info and learning quickly. I am his carer. Though we have home help we don't get any help with personal care so reading your post has warned me that I may have that that to come. It's heart breaking mainly because it is so unexpected. I'm finding my philosophy is to expect the unexpected and just take it all in my stride. When he does something really wierd I don't show any surprise. One day he says he washed but hasn't then the next day he does! So as it's early days I may be a bit naive but I'll learn!
     
  9. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    Hi. I find this site really helpful and most of all quite reassuring that you're not the only one with problems!
    I think you need to take each day as it comes and not get wound up with worry and anxiety. I have come to the conclusion that, as long as mum is safe (not wandering out of the building etc), then everything else is secondary. If she wants to stay in bed, so be it - I can't change this so what's the point in stressing about it. My big concern is personal hygiene which is hit and miss at the moment - at least she doesn't smell! I put her in incontinence panties (she isn't incontinent but sometimes doesn't quite get to the toilet in time) so it saves time in not having to soak her pants in a bucket before washing - that is well worth the money!
    I have a carer who is lovely and does her best but no amount of persuasion can get my mum to do anything that she doesn't want to do. But there are days when it goes well so, again, its worth it just to take the load off my shoulders. Left to her own devices my mum can get herself dressed but then forgets to wash so a carer is useful in this respect.
    I sympathise with your situation but don't get too stressed and grab every offer of help where you can and if you can afford it, get a carer to assist you.

    All the best,

    J
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,523
    Female
    If she is in pain from her hand that is likely to make her a bit less co-operative, so it's good she is managing to take pain relief.

    But it's also really important to get her to take fluids - I know you know that, and I know how difficult it can be, but if she's dehydrated it will really impact on her behaviour. My mother became reluctant to take fluids after a fall when she was in pain but I found that if offered particularly yummy drinks she would accept and drink them. She would ignore water or even tea, but she would drink sweet things like smoothies and fruit juices. She needed prompting but she would do it, so if you haven't already tried a variety of drinks you could give that a try.
     
  11. Toony Oony

    Toony Oony Registered User

    Jun 21, 2016
    477
    In full agreement with @Sirena about finding a drink that your Mum likes. Mine will not drink water unless she absolutely has to, she won't drink the CH squash and says it tastes of horses?! and loves a cuppa, but only if it is made just right.
    However, there is one brand of carton drinks that Mum loves because they are so very very sweet and it is never difficult to get her to drink one. I know I cannot mention the brand but it begins with an 'R' and is the name of the river that J Caesar crossed! They do a mango, a passionfruit and a lychee version. The other drink I have had success with is the well-known smoothie brand, that does a Just for Kids range of small smoothie pouches.
     
  12. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,523
    Female
    That sounds similar to my mother @Toony Oony , she hates the CH squash too (she's never said it tastes of horses though:D) Her favourites were the smoothies you mention, and apple and mango juice because the mango makes it really sweet.
     
  13. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    Yep, I realise how important it is for her to have fluids. Currently she has tea with milk but we leave a glass of milk or a squash for her to have when we aren't there. She actually prefers that horrible lemon tea made with powder but as she lost weight recently I was offering her ordinary tea but she is leaving this so will have to go back to the lemon tea which she can drink either hot or cold. I will experiment with some other drinks though. Thanks.
     
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,523
    Female
    My gran (who also had dementia in her final years) loved that horrible lemon tea! It was the only thing she would drink. My mother now needs prompting even if it's a drink she likes, I don't think she realises she's thirsty. In hospital the nurses were just putting a cup of tea near her and expecting her to drink it, which would never happen - and then saying she wasn't drinking. They didn't have time to prompt her regularly.
     
  15. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    32
    Female
     
  16. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    32
    Female
    Hello Zussie and all, I have been guesting for a few months now, too shy to post, but everyone is so supportive and friendly and your names are becoming so familiar to me I am taking the plunge and joining the family!
    My gentle mum (lives with us) is six years into Alz, she has a lovely temperament and is easy to care for.
    I am very mindful of the importance of keeping mum hydrated, however, like many of your PWD's, she won't touch a glass of water. We keep her fluids up with tea, cocoa and black coffee (caff & decaf) which she will drink till the cows come home, although we always add a drop of cold water as mum seems to have lost her sense of temperature control.
    Sorry to prattle on, what I actually wanted to add to the converstion is that mum really likes warm fruit squash, it changes the flavour from horses, also, we always keep a variety of the small juice boxes in different flavours, in her room, which she will drink after she has gone through in the evening or if she wakes in the night.
    When mum was first diagnosed, we felt like a stranger's in a strange land, and our future seemed bleak, but finding this forum has given my husband and I the confidence to cope. We follow in all your footsteps and face our future; we will ask for your advice (and shout and scream some days) knowing that we will receive nothing but kindness and support - thank you in advance!

    Phew - first post accomplished and apologies if I've got any of the terminology's wrong, all the initials stand for something which I admit to guessing at, is there an initial dictionary I can refer to?
     
  17. charlie10

    charlie10 Registered User

    Dec 20, 2018
    300
    Hi @Dimpsey.....welcome to the forum! There is a list of abbreviations......if you go to the pinned threads at the top of this forum there is one called "New to Dementia Talking Point?...." and about halfway down that thread there is a link for Abbreviations. Sorry I can't give you the link, I can't open it, not sure if it's my laptop or if it's broken, but I'm sure someone will be along to help if it's playing you up too :rolleyes:
     
  18. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    32
    Female
     
  19. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    32
    Female
    Good morning @charlie10 and thank you for pointing out where to find abbreviations. Cliff and PamD's list is staggering and I am currently ROTFWL!
    Learning a whole new language, that's my homework set for the week!
     
  20. Zuzzie

    Zuzzie Registered User

    Jan 29, 2017
    7
    Essex
    What a lovely post! Thank you.
    I am currently experimenting with various drinks. Yesterday she had her first taste of strawberry flavoured complan which she thoroughly enjoyed and it's going to have the added benefit of helping her gain some weight as her appetite is not great. With support I believe we will sort out her issues. she is so much better than a month ago when this lack of folic acid was causing her so many problems and which we were not aware of. Apparently, not having enough folic acid in your system can cause memory issues, fatigue, lack of energy, breathlessness, feeling faint, headaches and palpitations. Unbelievable that such a thing can cause such trouble. Today and yesterday she has been outside with the other residents in their lounge where they all enjoy tea and biscuits - slowly but surely she is definitely getting better.
     

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