As people age, their sleep patterns change. Insomnia isn’t uncommon in seniors. However, if it isn’t recognized and treated, it can lead to serious health consequences. Here are some things that can cause seniors to not sleep well.
Medication Side Effects
If your senior loved one takes certain medications, such as diuretics, he or she may be unable to sleep well. Diuretic medications are used to treat high blood pressure, and in addition to dizziness, weakness, dehydration, and hypotension, diuretics may cause frequent urination. When elderly people have to wake up multiple times during the night to urinate, sleep is severely disrupted. If your loved one doesn’t sleep well because of medication side effects, talk to his or her physician. Effective alternatives to diuretic medications include calcium channel blockers and beta blockers. Both of these drugs can lower blood pressure and are less likely to cause frequent urination.
When seniors worry too much, they’re often unable to sleep well. It’s not uncommon for aging adults to worry about financial problems, health conditions, and loss of independence. If you notice an increase in depression or anxiety in your loved one, take the time to find out why. If your loved one reveals he or she is consumed with worry about any of the aforementioned issues, try to come up with a solution. If the worry is related to health conditions, make an appointment with the physician. If financial worries keep your loved one from sleeping well, ask family members to pitch in financially, which may eliminate money concerns.
For seniors with anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep through the night, having a professional caregiver close by can provide a sense of comfort. For many seniors in Portland, ME, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Align Home Care, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
If your loved one lives with chronic pain, make sure pain medication is given a couple of hours before bedtime to keep him or her comfortable and promote a restful night’s sleep. For new complaints of pain that haven’t yet been addressed, schedule a medical examination. Once the source of pain has been diagnosed and treated, your loved one may sleep better.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Turn to Align Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Cognitive deficits in seniors can lead to agitation and insomnia. People with dementia may experience “sundowning,” which causes confusion when the sun goes down. This condition can increase fear and anxiety and may even raise the risk of wandering. If your loved one becomes confused or agitated in the evening, don’t leave him or her alone. Lack of monitoring may cause an accident or injury if your loved one falls, consumes a toxic chemical, inappropriately uses kitchen utensils, turns on the gas, or wanders away from home. If the doctor determines your loved one has cognitive deficits, the doctor may refer your loved one to a physician who specializes in geriatric medicine or a neurologist for further evaluation and treatment. Once a treatment plan for cognitive deficits has been implemented, both you and your loved one may enjoy more restful sleep.
When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep difficulties and use the strategies outlined above, you can help him or her sleep better and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare. Portland, ME, Align Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our premier in-home care plans and how they can help your loved one, give us a call at (207) 835-3490 today.