Say no to sleep deprivation! Elderly care hacks and fixes.
Most elders suffer from one chronic condition and it can affect their caregivers too. Sleep deprivation isn’t fun and can be detrimental to the overall quality of life.
So what can you do to fix it? And what can be done about it in the long run? Popping sleeping pills and aids regularly ain’t fun either. So is there a more holistic approach to understand and improve elderly insomnia?
Elder sleep phobias
Most elders with aging go under changes in sleep patterns, it’s pretty normal and quite common. It’s harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep for long.
Although it can get bothersome for elders suffering cognitive issues like dementia, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. It can be alarming for caregivers to keep a tap on them if they sleepwalk, wake up at night triggering chances of accidental falls or injury. Some elders with memory disorders might not remember walking out of the house unknowingly at night feeling stranded.
The common problem of elderly insomnia.
While these can make any caregiver lose sleep it's nonetheless important to keep a watch and maintain perfect sleep hygiene for such elders.
But how to do it? There are two ways to go about it.
First, target the cause.
Most elders often won’t know or have a clue about their chronic sleep deprivation. The key is to understand that these might be causing such problems for example medications and their after-effects, discomfort from other chronic pains or fatigue, lack of physical activity, too much sleeping or being too long in bed. Frequent urination nightly in especially diabetic elders can cause them to stay awake.
Elders can often suffer silent depression, hypertension, lack of motivation, engagement or encouragement. The worst part is that they all affect sleep hygiene.
How to fix it?
There are certain things you can do routinely to get their sleeping hours better.
First and foremost, consult their GP to discuss their sleep schedule, check and enquire about medication after-effects or recommendations for changing prescription or a re-evaluation.
Secondly, ask if a chronic pain reliever or anti-allergens and supplemental sleeping aids could help if your loved one suffers from pain-related insomnia.
Overhauling daily routine
Another great tip is a daily routine overhaul.
It’s natural with no pills required and can be quite effective.
Let’s start with cutting caffeine, go the decaffeinated route!
- Always ensure they are more hydrated during the day to prevent frequent nightly urination.
- Keep adult diapers handy, if they are unsure or bed-wetting occurs accidentally while trying to adjust to the new routine.
- Try and maintain a perfect daily sleep cycle, hourly bedtime, and morning wake-up routines prep their biological clock.
- Try to reduce afternoon naps as they can interfere with nightly sleep.
- Try to reduce time spent in bed even if it means taking an hour off from their total sleep time.
Track sleep time (even remotely) with BrioCare-the app designed for every senior caregiver.
BrioCare is the perfect smile care app to remotely track your elder's sleep schedule, you can set them daily alarms, plan a sleep schedule, set reminders for bedtime, and even play unwinding sessions every night.
It’s powered by Alexa for seniors, so your loved ones can just talk to it to play their favorite sonata or hear audiobooks /podcasts before they head to sleep. It’s easy, it’s engaging and it’s effective!.
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Unwind every night!
Introduce unwinding sessions at night like playing meditation music, or diffusing aroma oils — lavender is a good one to relieve insomnia or a cup of chamomile tea can be a natural relaxant. A good chiropractic massage for elders with chronic pain can improve their sleep schedule.
Things to watch out for!
Make sure they have supportive good bedding with memory foam pillows.
There are some anti-allergen ones to prevent sores.
Adjust room temperature at settings neither too hot nor too cold.
Some elders could use additional pillows for extra support and elevation. Try different sleep positions to figure out what suits them best.