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 sleeping with mouth open 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:29 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Post sleeping with mouth open
God morning everyone I hope you all had a quiet night. I am yet another question. Jackie (my Mother in law) always sleeps or sits and sleeps with her mouth open. Jackie sleeps most of the day really the only times she is awake is when we are feeding her. This only seem to get worse this week. She has had trouble sleeping this week, last night was the first great night sleep she had. I know it must hurt her throat. I tried the lifesavers yesterday all she is put it between her teeth and leave it there. i might try again another day.

Another question when Jackie walks one of us is holding her handsaiming her in the right direction someone else is standing behind her she always seems to be resisting (putting on the brakes) does any one else have this problem. we are having to push her to get her any where.
hey have a great day:)

taking care of Jackie 74 years old mother -in-law

Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:18 am

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
It's very common for anyone with dementia (and maybe anyone with a neurodegenerative disease) to have his/her mouth agape almost round the clock.

She may be resisting because she's afraid. (Or it may be gait initiation failure - ie, freezing.) Try escorting her more closely and perhaps use a gait belt. See if that gives her a higher degree of confidence.

Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:48 pm

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
I second the gait belt - we've had to use it during a couple of hospitalizations, and it's a much better way to help someone - usually one of us walks a few steps ahead guiding the way and describing how to work around barriers, and one of us is a half-step behind Cal, ready to yank the gait belt up in the event he starts to go down. We have not found it helpful to take Cal by the hand or arm; we think it makes him feel unsteady.

We've seen the mouth-open thing too, most recently after he had a little Ativan in the hospital after being up all night....he slept for eight hours without *budging*, head back, mouth open (and was sleepy for a total of 36). I think it looked worse than it was - after a glass of water and a mint he was hydrated again and sounded fine.

There are artificial saliva products - gels and sprays - that can improve oral mucosa hydration. Ask your doctor, dentist or pharmacist about recommendations. Additionally, mouthwashes without alcohol can help - I'm quite fond of Biotene, which *feels* like a mouthful of spit, but tastes pleasant and does leave everything hydrated. If your loved one swallows some, it's not going to be a big deal either.


Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at

Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:26 pm
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