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My mom has dementia and lost her appetite & sleeps all day

My mom has lost her appetite about 1 month ago. I can barely get her to eat one meal and when I do it's usually after midnight. All she wants to do is sleep all day.
Status: Open    Dec 14, 2016 - 07:57 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition, Dementia

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Expert Answers

Dec 20, 2016 - 12:29 PM

It sounds like you are dealing with two issues ( sleep problems and loss of appetite), These two issues tend to effect each other.

Are you in contact with the Alzheimer’s website www.alz.org. They have many useful aspects to their site, such as caregiver advice and support. They not only have expertise with Alzheimer ’s disease but also with all forms of dementia.

Sleep changes are common with individuals who have dementia. Some will sleep during the day but not at night. Alz.org cautions the caregiver to be sure to first contact the medical professional who is handling the individual’s dementia to be sure there is not a medical problem that can be easily corrected, such as pain or a medication that is interfering with sleep.

The Alzheimer organization suggests trying non-drug interventions first. This includes maintaining regular times for meals and bedtime. Encourage regular daily exercise. Discourage watching TV for long periods of time. Discourage staying in bed during the day, except at nap time. At bedtime, make sure the bedroom temperature is comfortable, and that there is a night light and security objects.

During mealtimes , provide a quiet, sedate atmosphere. Avoid noisy TV programs and disturbing conversations or situations. Are there foods that your mom remembers fondly? Focus on those foods, especially if they provide nourishment. Provide small, frequent meals, even if she only eats a small amount. Hi protein drinks are good. Hi cal, hi protein foods, such as ice cream or pudding are useful.

Avoid large amounts of water and/or medications at meal time.

The Alzheimer’s website offers a weekly e-newsletter, that you might find helpful.

I hope that this answer will help give you some ideas for helping your mom.

I wish you luck in helping her obtain nourishment and rest.

Answers

Dec 17, 2016 - 09:12 AM

Sorry- this is not an answer but just wanted to say that I am sure that is very, very tough. More SO for you than her! One activity a day would be a lot for you to organize and her to do but that would be a great goal. Gosh or even 2-3 a week- getting my mom out is almost impossible. Only things she will do are the "must-dos", like haircut, doctors... a sometimes eating thigh not so much. if it's optional, forget it. Maybe we could start creating more "MUST-do" tasks- I think they respond better to them... perhaps "I really need you to come with me to this store to give me your opinion on "X".... I don't know.... that takes SO much energy and time to try to convince them...Very much in the same boat you are.... Hopefully someone will give some more informed suggestions. Until then, the most important thing is that she knows she safe and cares for which obviously she is:)

If she is in a facility, however, the desire to escape and sleep all day is going to be even worse.

Julie
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