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Alzheimer`s Disease/Extended Sleep, Dimentia and Urinary tract Infection


I noted your comment about extended sleep in dimentia patients with urinary tract infection. My relative has this and was wondering whether there is any pathological reason for this at this time? Also, does the situation improve after the infection is treated?

Thank you for your guidance on this issue.

Kind regards - George

Hello George.  Thank you for your question.  Some elders with dementia, when they get an infection of any type like an upper respiratory infection, or a urinary tract infection, will become more lethargic and sleepy.  Other elders may be just the opposite--they may be more active, animated, or agitated.  Any time you notice a change from what this person's "normal" behavior is, then you should suspect they are working on an infection or illness of some type.  Since UTI's are so common, that's usually the first thing I would check as a nurse.  The reason for the change in something like sleepiness, is likely because the brain is trying to deal with the infection and cannot spare any energy for much else--the underlying pathology is a mystery to me as well!  On the other hand, if this extended sleep is something that has been going on for some time, it may just be an indication that the damage in the brain is progressing and this is now the new normal.  Generally, once the infection is cleared up, the person will return to their baseline, but sometimes you may notice a decline in either cognition or functional abilities, or both, that doesn't go away.  That could indicate that the presence of the infection may have increased the damage in the brain somewhat.  I hope I've answered your question George.  Good luck with your relative.  Cindy

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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