If my mom with severe Alzheimer's is sleeping a lot, does that mean the end is near?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 26, 2016
Babygir asked...

My mother is in the final stages of Alzheimer's and is sleeping a lot. Dose this mean she is near the end?

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

Sleeping a lot is a common feature of advanced Alzheimer's disease but I do not know of any evidence that sleeping a lot would decrease the length of survival. Make sure that sleeping is not related to a medication your mother is taking. Many medications used in higher doses may cause sleepiness.

Community Answers

Helene bergman answered...

If your mother is sleeping alot, it could infer that her nutrition and hydration are being impacted.......and that her progressive lack of activity is affecting her entire body system. Thus, if her system begins to shut down due to lack of 'fuel' she would be advancing toward the end. I recommend you contact your local hospice organization to evaluate whether she might be eligible for palliative care. They would be able to advise whether this increased sleeping is indicative of end of life and make her as comfortable as possible.