Sleeping

maifleur01

Although technically I am no longer a caregiver because my husband is in a nursing home I would like to ask a question. When I visit my husband he is almost always asleep either in his chair or in his bed. Yesterday I was asked why he was always sleeping. Having had older pets who basically slept their life away I had not thought about the amount that he was sleeping. Am I wrong? He has some type of dementia and has already lost the use of his arms and legs.

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Sammy

My grandmother slept more and more as her dementia progressed. She never lost total use of her arms or legs, though, that I can recall. Extremely weak, though,yes. She couldn’t bathe herself, walk to the bathroom, get out of bed, etc., without a caregiver.

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sushipup1

Is he on medications? Any changes in those?

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maifleur01

Only his heart meds and the same antidepressant that he has been on since he went there in late 2016. Only health problems he has had since being placed have been a couple of UTI's. In most of the NH where I have visited there were two types of elderly. Those that sleep and those that are hyper. Since I pay his meds each month I can see what he is receiving and the only change has been a medicated lotion for a scalp problem.

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bpath

What is his antidepressant? My mother takes one at night so she can sleep, but they recently cut it in half because it was making her too sleepy during the day, and she's doing much better. She has dementia.

My dad takes a medication to keep him awake! He was way to dozy during the day. After his brain hemorrhage the hospital started the med, and the rehab has tried taking him off, but always puts him back on.

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maifleur01

Lorazepam .5 mg All antidepressants can cause sleepiness. This they give in the evening. It should not be still effecting him at lunch time. Today when I asked he had not fallen asleep during lunch the way he did last week. I had been going at lunch time to feed him because the aides had so many people to care for and I worried he was not eating enough. I also found that when I was there he hardly ever talked. The aides can not understand most of what he was saying now but when I was not there he carried on some lively talks at lunch. Now he just talks and they pretend to understand him the same as I do.

His ability to do things goes up and down. I think it is his body gradually shutting down but I was concerned enough to ask if it was normal. It probably makes no difference but he is now 75.

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lovemrmewey

So sorry for these problems. My husband passed away 6 months ago.

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dbarron

It's difficult, I remember with my mother. Take care of yourself (I ended up very worn down and contracted bronchitis which took me about 3 months to shake after my mom's passing).

I fought with the doctor who had prescribed medication making my mother sleep most of the time. Mom argued that she would prefer to sleep as just sitting there, so I gave up.

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maifleur01

Thank all of you for your kind thoughts. Although I try to visit every day I know other than perhaps mentally visiting is all that I can do.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

Lorazepam is not an antidepressant; it is a sedative, and is used for anxiety or to help someone sleep. It certainly could be the cause of his sleepiness -- perhaps he is not metabolizing it (clearing it from his system) now the way he used to, as the response to meds does change as we age.

However, you are also correct that as our bodies wind down we do become less alert, sleep more, eat less, drink less and that is perfectly natural.

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bpath

Ask if his dosage can be adjusted down.

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maifleur01

bp at .5 it is unlikely it could be adjusted downward and give an accurate dosage.

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iread15

When I need dental work, I take .5 mg of lorazepam. For several nights afterward I sleep like a baby and tend to fall asleep whenever I’m sitting quietly. I’m 75,weigh about 120 lbs, and have always been sensitive to any sort of sedative. If I took this dose every day, I’d probably sleep all the time.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

Maifleur, it is very common in hospitals & other facilities to split tablets. They make devices that can do that; sometimes the pharmacy will do it, sometimes the nurses have to. They certainly can split the Ativan pill. They should evaluate whether he actually needs to continue it, as well.

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maifleur01

I will have to ask again to see the pill. The one I was shown was about the size of a matchhead if you remember those. To split would be possible but dosage would be very random.

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fuzzy wuzzy

iread15: Just a minor point that is critical when talking about medicine and dosage amounts. One half a milligram is written as 0.5 mg, not .5 mg. It is essential that the leading zero be used to ensure that the reader knows that it is 0.5 mg, not 5 mg. Sometimes the decimal point isn't clear, especially when someone is reading quickly.

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