People with dementia often experience sleep disturbances.
They may have trouble getting to sleep or wake up frequently during the night. Being tired can make an older adult irritable and increase instances of challenging behaviors, like aggression. Not only do unwanted behaviors make the job of being a family caregiver more difficult, but the lack of sleep could leave you feeling exhausted. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve sleep in an older adult with dementia. Below are some tips that may help.
Talk to the Doctor
Tell your aging relative’s doctor about their sleep problems. There may be an underlying physical problem that is making it hard to sleep, like a urinary tract infection or restless leg syndrome. Treating those problems can alleviate sleep issues. Even if there is not a health problem causing the sleeplessness, the doctor may be able to help with sleep medications or other strategies.
Increase Activity During the Day
Being more physically active during the day can help to tire out the older adult, making it easier for them to sleep at night. Try going for a couple of short walks each day. You can also involve the senior in household tasks that require movement. Not only will it help to tire them, it can also make them feel useful and give them a sense of purpose, which may alleviate boredom and frustration.
Increase Light Exposure
Spending some time in the sun during the day can help reset the senior’s circadian rhythm. Spending an hour in bright outdoor sunshine can do the trick. If they are unable to get outside, a lamp that simulates sunlight can help.
Stick to a Schedule
Creating and maintaining a routine for the senior can provide their body clues about when it is time to sleep. Get up at the same time each morning and follow a general routine with breakfast, lunch, and dinner happening at approximately the same time each day. Most importantly, try to get the senior to bed at the same time each night.
Avoid Stimulating Activities During Wakefulness
If the older adult does wake during the night, avoid activities that encourage being awake, such as watching television. Instead, turn on some quiet music or read to them.
If your aging relative’s sleeplessness is keeping you awake at night, home care can take care of them during the overnight hours so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Home care providers can spend every night with the older adult or just a few nights a week. Home care providers can prevent the older adult from wandering during the night or doing other things that may be unsafe. They can also offer companionship when the senior cannot sleep.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Springfield, PA, please talk to the caring staff at Better Care Home Health Services LLC today. Serving individuals and their families in Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks counties. Call Today: (267) 766-5218