Sleep problems are a big issue for older adults, but if your aging family member has dementia, those sleep problems might be more pronounced. Here’s what you need to know.
Start Using Routines to Your Advantage
Routines, particularly for sleeping and waking, are an excellent tool for everyone to use, but they’re especially helpful for seniors with dementia. The most basic routines involve setting solid times for sleeping and for waking. You can build other tasks around those times to help ease your senior into sleep and likewise into the rest of her day in the morning.
Check the Bed and the Room for Comfort
If the bed or your senior’s bedroom aren’t comfortable, they might not be conducive to sleep. This might be a situation you can easily fix, but you have to know what’s going wrong. If your elderly family member is able to communicate with you, talk with her about what’s not working well for her. It might be as simple as changing out her bedding or keeping the bedroom a degree cooler at night.
Natural Light Can Help Reset Circadian Rhythms
Natural light does a lot for the brain. It prompts your senior’s brain to know that it’s time to start being active or that it’s time to get ready for sleep. But natural light isn’t always easy to get, especially in homes without a lot of window access. Lighting can mimic daylight, though. There are alarm clocks available that use a light that mimics daylight to gradually become brighter. Using one of these instead of a traditional alarm clock can help your senior to feel refreshed instead of jolted when she wakes up.
Exercise Can Help a Lot
Exercise might be something that your senior’s doctor recommended and for good reason. Even becoming a little more physically active can help your senior to rest better when she does try to sleep. You might even find that exercise helps with other issues, like agitation and wandering. This doesn’t have to be a huge production, either. Just a short walk every day can be incredibly helpful.
You Might Need More Help
It’s possible that your senior still has trouble sleeping at night. And for some people with dementia, waking up at odd times is just going to happen. Unfortunately, that might mean that you’re losing sleep that you desperately need. Home care providers who are available overnight can help your senior with whatever she needs so that you’re not the one on call.
If sleep issues are a new symptom for your senior, make sure you mention them to her doctor. There might be more going on.
For Home Care Services in Collierville TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!