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Dr. Ravoof
Dr. Ravoof, Doctor
Category: Medical
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My mother who is 89 in 7 weeks has started sleeping 19/20 hours

Resolved Question:

My mother who is 89 in 7 weeks has started sleeping 19/20 hours a day. She has dementia, Barretts Oesophagus, is housebound with arthritis and is profoundly deaf. I am her carer as she lives just across the road. Is there anything I should be doing or is she coming to the end of her life?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.
Dear customer,

Thanks for your question.

Do you know the list of medications she is taking?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Omeprazole and panadol plus a cream for dry eyes.

Expert:  Dr. Ravoof replied 2 years ago.

Dear customer,

Thanks for your reply.

Normally as one ages the time taken to fall asleep increases and there is more difficulty in staying asleep. Hence the sleep patterns will change as one ages. Most of the times this causes complaints of insomnia in elderly patients.

Sleep which is excessive in old age can be due to poor sleep quality. Also the inadequate treatment of pain from arthritis can cause sleep disturbance.

Also sleep problems are common in dementia patients. In dementia there is disturbed sleep with decreased sleep efficiency.

However other conditions such as depression, low thyroid hormone, and renal failure need to be ruled out.

Therefore I would suggest consulting her doctor and have complete blood count, thyroid function tests, and renal function tests done. A sleep study may also be required.

Treatment will involve addressing the causative problem for the excessive sleep.

Take care.

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