While providing our elderly care service in Delaware County, Neighborly Home Care often hear people repeating myths about aging that are actually untrue.
Of course, we always do our best to dispel these myths!
One of the most common myths we hear is “Older people need less sleep than younger people.” However, the truth is that an adult’s need for sleep really changes little, if any, as he/she gets older. The issue is that sleep patterns change as a person ages, and it often becomes difficult for an older person to get as much sleep as they need.
In the event you are providing elderly care service for an older family member in Delaware County, you need to understand how their sleeping patterns are changing and how you can help them get the quality rest they truly need.
Barriers to Sleep
One of the reasons sleep is a difficult topic is that a wide range of factors can degrade an older person’s nighttime sleep. Factors can include:
- Changes in their circadian rhythms, leading them to go to bed and wake up earlier.
- Physical issues, such as muscle aches and pains, which create nighttime discomfort.
- Medical conditions, from sleep apnea to heart trouble, that similarly prevent them from achieving deep sleep.
- Psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety,that prevent their brains from calming down enough to achieve quality sleep.
- Medications -including medications for depression or anxiety- which interfere with sleep patterns.
- Excessive napping, which can contribute to nighttime sleep issues.
- Compounding factors from a bed-mate. Elderly married couples who are both having sleep problems will degrade each other’s rest further. Heavy snoring is an obvious example.
In short, when a senior is having sleep issues, discovering the cause of their problems is important. As a caregiver, you have the power to help. Reducing stress levels will help a lot.
Also, research any medications they are taking and see if sleeplessness is a known side-effect. Investigate over-the-counter options for overcoming nighttime pains or breathing difficulty. However, when someone is chronically tired and unable to get a good night’s sleep, you should take them to the doctor. Due to the many different factors which affect sleep, professional consultation and testing is often necessary to find the root causes.
Neighborly Home Care Can Help
Neighborly Home Care has years of experience providing elderly care service in Delaware County, and can provide the full-time oversight sometimes needed to prevent sleep problems in senior adults. For a consultation about our elderly care services, contact us today!
The families we serve keep saying great things.
I just wanted to tell you how grateful we are that Neighborly Home Care stepped in & took over taking care of my Dad when we really needed it, no questions asked. Our caregiver has become part of the family and we know we can depend on her being there every day & taking great care of my Dad. He misses her when she’s not there!