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 Difficult to wake up 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Difficult to wake up
Recently my MIL developed a new issue. It is getting to be very difficult to wake her up to take her morning pills. If I touch her gently she will eventually jerk awake, but it takes a while of doing this and calling her name. I don't want to scare her. She looks so frightened when she jerks awake. Has anyone else encountered this? Any suggestions? She also sleeps to at least noon these days.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:35 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Donna,
It is something that happens in this illness as it progresses, their energy is just being used up. What would happen if you just left her and moved her pill time around a bit?, She probably is entering another phase of her illness !

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Irene Selak


Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:52 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
I have been more flexible with pill time lately. We try to go by her cycles. I think it makes her a lot less agitated. I hate having her skip meal times. Are there any other things I can do besides Boost/Ensure to get some calories into her? I don't want to force her to eat.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:05 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Does she like ice cream?

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:06 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
My mother's weight loss in the past few months has been dramatic. She has no problems with swallowing or anything but just refuses to eat very much at all. Her SNF's dietary staff have some kind of calorie supplement (sorry, don't know the name but can find out if you need it) that they mix with ice cream to make a "shake." The taste for sweet is supposed to be the last one to go, so it works better than anything else. And I think it ends up having something like 2,000 calories! Maybe you could check into something like that.

Julianne


Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:13 am
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
She loves ice cream. I will look into the supplement that can make a shake. Slow weight loss. Down to 113 pounds from 120 pounds last year. She eats well, but appears to not metabolize her calorie intake.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:45 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
One of the things I learned after caregiving was they just don't burn the energy of course as fast so they really don't need the amount of food we think they should be eating , food for many of us represents comfort. As many already mentioned ice cream is always a winner and it was something I gave my husband no matter what time it was if he was willing to have it .

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Irene Selak


Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Irene, it's true that being elderly and sedentary dramatically reduces a person's need for calories, but I think there is definitely something else going on. My mother has lost 35 pounds since the end of January and a total of 55 pounds in the last year. She was elderly and sedentary before, but struggled not to gain weight.

It appears that foods don't taste right to her anymore and she just isn't interested in eating, a big change for her. We've also had her teeth checked out to make sure it isn't painful to eat, but the dentist said everything looked fine.

I take her snacks and the SNF will bring in anything that might tempt her to eat, and it doesn't help. They give her those high-calorie shakes and that must be what is sustaining her. I've tried sitting with her while she eats, and she just tries to give me her food, even if I have my own. I don't know what else to do.

Julianne


Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:05 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Julianne,
That does sound like a problem I had no idea it was that much weight, could it be she is just giving up? I know that's hard to think of but I do know when they get to the point of just refusing food its hard to change their minds.. I do hope you are able to figure out what's going on, I am sure it is frustrating !

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Irene Selak


Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Julianne, the senses of taste and smell are greatly diminished in these diseases and somewhat in normal aging. My mother, who is 87, and is in good health, complains that nothing tastes good to her any more. She supplements her diet with Ensure.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:09 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Irene,

That's a good point. I do wonder if she isn't giving up. Besides refusing to eat more, she keeps getting rid of her possessions, either insisting I take them home or just throwing them out, as if she is trying to clear out her room. She also has very little interest in any activity, of the few activities she can still do. Time will tell but it surely is hard to watch.

Pat,

Age does diminish the sense of taste and with my mother, the only things that attract her anymore are sweets. The SNF routinely offers her some kind of liquid drink supplement (similar to Ensure) but often she won't drink it, and the best bet has been these high calorie shakes made with ice cream. There doesn't seem to be much else to do.

Thanks,

Julianne


Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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Location: WA
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
You're doing all you can, Julianne!

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:48 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Thanks, Pat, that's nice to hear because most days I wonder.

Julianne


Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:08 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Julianne,
Don't second guess yourself, you are doing everything you can to make your mom's life better, its the illness that snowballs!

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Irene Selak


Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:57 pm
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Post Re: Difficult to wake up
Thanks, Irene. You know how it feels.

Julianne


Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:44 am
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