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why do old people sleep all the time

My mom is 94 and she too spends a lot of time in bed. She says I feel good in bed!. She may have a mild dementia, that is memory problems, low interest, don t initiate much. She likes music but does not put any CD. Like Ruemando s mother, she would be much more active if she had her own personal trainer. I tend to think Fine! You like to be in bed; be in bed. I just want you to be happy. When I spend a week with her, I sew and do projects; she likes me to show her my progress regularly. She is a very nice mom. I love her so much. I told her playing cards between 7:00 and 9:00 pm is enough for me, OK? She goes to a center 3 days /week from 9:00 to 3:00.

But those doctors pile guilt and worries on me when they claim that sleeping during the day will lead to weaker bones, poor balance, creating a bad cycle of inactivity both mentally and physically. When I tell her that, she says I m the one who is 94. I do what a 94 years old body can do. What is the real problem here? Has being active become a must, the only way of living? Some people meditate and it s OK. Why can t old people enjoy taking it easy in bed? Why do we immediately fear depression?

What if our old parents were allowed to relax in bed, do a 5 minutes of stretching exercises before each meal and do as they please? A contact with people every day, family visiting every Saturday and Sunday, and the rest, - well -, weaker bones and poor balance is what getting older and older do to our bodies. Are we supposed to die on the treadmill? When I ask my mom, it goes nowhere. She just wants to be nice to me; discussing a point is no longer important for her. It s like all she wants is hearing our voices, smiling back, hugs. Between visits, she just waits for the next one.

Time has a different meaning for her than for us. I have things to do, but she doesn t; I have energy, she doesn t. It seems to make all the difference in our respective world.
My 82 year old father has been in a nursing home for 2 months. He's been steadily declining for about 6 months now. Loses his mind more often than not, doesn't know where he is, and talks to people he can't see. He's blind, but believes he is seeing things. We have him on comfort measures right now and have cut all his meds down to the bare necessities because of his failing kidney (one kidney).

Anyway, for the past week it seems like all he ever does is sleep. When we visit him, it's very difficult to wake him up. He'll stir, say hi to us, then fall asleep in the middle of whatever he's saying. Every time we visit, which is frequently, he is like this. My question is, is this an indication that the end is near? It's been so hard to tell with him because he'll be near death, then rally back for a few months. He just needs it to be over. :( I hate to say it, but he's suffering and so miserable all the time.

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